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.