Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer drew criticism on Twitter Sunday (Sept. 13) after comparing the shootings of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to the death of George Floyd. According to ABC, the two deputies were shot near the Metro Blue Line station in Compton around 7 p.m. They were reportedly hospitalized and in critical condition, as of Monday morning (Sept. 14).
Fleischer, who worked under President George W. Bush’s administration, retweeted an eye-witness account of the shooting that was originally posted by conservative actor James Woods. The roughly one-minute video appears to be filmed by an onlooker after the shooting and shows witnesses react to the incident and police cars rush to the scene.
“Here’s the reaction of an eyewitness to the ambush of two Deputies shot in the head in #Compton. The victims are in the background. No one is going to help them. Vote like your life depends on it. #BlueLivesMatter,” Woods tweeted alongside the video.
When retweeting, Fleischer compared the shooting to the death of Floyd, who was killed in police custody after ex-officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes.
“When George Floyd was murdered, no one - not a single person - celebrated. This is depravity,” Fleischer wrote. “How can anyone be gleeful that someone was shot, especially when the victims are police officers. This is sick.”
However, Twitter users have pointed out that several sickening attempts to mock Floyd’s death have made rounds on the internet since May, including the alarming viral “George Floyd Challenge.” Multiple participants — including some law officers — were fired from their jobs or condemned online after posting photos recreating the kneeling chokehold Chauvin used during Floyd’s fatal arrest.
“I have seen thousands of comments on Facebook media pages about George Floyd with people ranging from mocking his death to justifying it,” one Twitter user commented. “Hell that happens anytime someone black is killed by the police. I remember reading comments when Tamir Rice was killed and being disgusted.”
“1st this is extremely disgusting and 2nd yes people celebrated the death of George Floyd not unless you’re saying you haven’t found video of it. But I bet if you really looked like woody here, you’d find it,” another wrote. “You want to denounce hatred great, denounce it on all sides.”
In July, three Colorado police officers were also fired for posting photos mocking the chokehold that was used in the fatal arrest of 23-year-old Elijah McClain.
See Fleischer’s tweet and reactions below.
When George Floyd was murdered, no one - not a single person - celebrated. This is depravity. How can anyone be gleeful that someone was shot, especially when the victims are police officers. This is sick. https://t.co/Be8VcNQoGO— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) September 13, 2020
1st this is extremely disgusting and 2nd yes people celebrated the death of George Floyd not unless you're saying you haven't found video of it. But I bet if you really looked like woody here, you'd find it. You want to denounce hatred great, denounce it on all sides.— Dawn (@DawnItsForYou) September 14, 2020
Oh boy you don’t watch videos on social media. A lot of people celebrated the death of George Floyd. It’s sickening— - (@An0nYm0us2001) September 14, 2020
I have seen thousands of comments on Facebook media pages about George Floyd with people ranging from mocking his death to justifying it. Hell that happens anytime someone black is killed by the police. I remember reading comments when Tamir Rice was killed and being disgusted.— Garrick Kebede (@Gconomics101) September 14, 2020
Yea YALL did. The George Floyd Challenge??? Displaying chokeholds and smiling by the cops that killed Elijah.....— ✭ Ant Davis ✭ Win For Kobe (@JROC2787) September 13, 2020
#GeorgeFloyd @AriFleischer HOW FUCKING DARE YOU! Though the shooting of two peace officers is a heinous crime. DO NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE INHERENT RACISM IN AMERICA THAT HAS MURDERED THOUSANDS OF OUR BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!! #BLM #ShameOnYou— Nitrovixen (@Nitrovixen_64) September 14, 2020
I don’t condone killing cops,but for you to say people did not celebrate George Floyd being murdered by cops is complete bullshit. Twitter had a shit ton of cop defenders and people saying shit like,”Good,he deserved to die.” I think it’s horrific that anyone celebrates death.— Ginger Cook (@GingerC38979225) September 14, 2020
No people have definitely said a lot of terrible stuff about George Floyd’s death I’ve seen it everywhere personally. I still see it to this day.— i hate it here (@anywaychile_) September 14, 2020