The History Behind ‘When The Looting Starts, The Shooting Starts’

Barbara Sprunt in NPR:

President Trump told reporters Friday evening that he didn’t know the racially charged history behind the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump tweeted the phrase Friday morning in reference to the clashes between protesters and police in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death. It dates back to the civil rights era and is known to have been invoked by a white police chief cracking down on protests and a segregationist politician.

In 1967, Miami police Chief Walter Headley used the phrase “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” during hearings about crime in the Florida city, invoking angry reactions from civil rights leaders, according to a news report at the time.

More here.

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