WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding ongoing protests and riots throughout the nation:
“Last night, the streets of major American cities were again the scene of looting and violent rioting that serves no purpose except to hurt innocent people and undermine peaceful demonstrations.
“Every one of us has an obligation to distinguish peaceful protests over the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery from the violent riots that continue to see innocent people hurt, businesses and neighborhoods destroyed, and law enforcement officers assaulted.
“The former is a cherished constitutional right that every single citizen should support. And the latter is an unacceptable scourge that state and local leaders should have ended days ago.
“I want to thank the federal, state, and local leaders who are taking seriously their obligation to restore peace, protect the innocent, and stop this senseless violence. In some places, like my home state of Kentucky and here in Washington D.C., last night was comparatively more calm and safe. But in too many other places, like New York City, it appeared to be open season for lawlessness, looting, and attacking law enforcement for yet another night.
“And for what? Rioting for the thrill of it? For the chance to steal some expensive items? So people can say they were there on social media?
“This selfish violence takes us farther away from any national healing or forward progress. It does not bring positive change any closer. It pushes it farther away.
“These rioters need to listen to what George Floyd’s brother Terrence said in Minneapolis just yesterday. Quote: “I understand [you all] are upset. I doubt [you’re] half as upset as I am. So if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are [you all] doing?
“[You’re] doing nothing. Because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all.”
“The legitimate and important voices of peaceful protestors will never be heard over the wailing of fire alarms, the smashing of plate-glass windows, and the sirens of ambulances coming for police officers who have been assaulted or shot in the head.
“Our nation is united in horror and opposition to the violent killing of Mr. Floyd. We are united.
“It is well past time that we also unite on the side of peace in our streets and peace in our communities. We need to unite against these violent rioters who seek only to aggrandize themselves and further damage a nation that needs healing.”