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Donald Trump says Black Lives Matter is becoming a 'symbol of hate' in furious Twitter tirade

The President was critical of plans to paint a 'Black Lives Matter' mural outside his Manhattan tower. Source: Corbis News

The president reacted angrily to plans by New York City to paint the slogan in front of Trump Tower

President Donald Trump has described the Black Lives Matter movement as a "symbol of hate", while lashing out at plans to paint the slogan outside Trump Tower in New York.

The office of Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the mural would be painted across from the president's skyscraper on Fifth Avenue, where Mr Trump stays when he visits the city.

"Told that @NYCMayor Bill de Blasio wants to paint the fabled & beautiful Fifth Avenue, right in front of Trump Tower/Tiffany, with a big yellow Black Lives Matter sign," the US president tweeted.

"Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won't let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York's greatest street.” 

 

Mr Trump continued, tweeting that New York officers were "furious" over alleged cries from movement protesters of "Pigs in a Blanket, Fry 'Em Like Bacon" which he said referred to killing police.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio hit back, saying African-Americans "built 5th Ave and so much of this nation".

"Your 'luxury' came from THEIR labor, for which they have never been justly compensated," he wrote. 

 

Similar murals to the one planned for New York have been painted elsewhere in the United States to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which is now at the forefront of public consciousness following weeks of anti-racism protests.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser renamed an area near the White House that became the epicentre of demonstrations Black Lives Matter Plaza and unveiled a giant mural on the street.

Mr Trump has spent little time in New York as of late, and changed his official residence to Florida last year.

His business empire remains headquartered in New York, however.

'Black Lives Matter' is painted on the pavement of 16th Street near the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 05 June 2020.
'Black Lives Matter' is painted on the pavement of 16th Street near the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 05 June 2020.
EPA

Mr Trump has also lashed out in a tweet at a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, accusing him of "Treason, Sedition, Insurrection."

It appeared Mr Trump was referring to comments from Hawk Newsome, a BLM leader from New York who on Fox News said that "if this country doesn't give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it." 

"I can be speaking figuratively, I can be speaking literally, it's a matter of interpretation."

Mr Trump has also criticised the decision of New York’s city council to cut funding to its police force by $1.45 billion.

The New York Police department budget will be cut by $1.45 billion
The New York Police department budget will be cut by $1.45 billion
EPA

"Defund the police" has become a rallying cry of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that erupted following the killing in custody of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

Protesters have camped outside New York's city hall this past week demanding that money be shifted from America's largest police force to social services to help fight racial injustice.

The cuts include scrapping the planned hiring of about 1,160 new police officers, as well as reducing overtime costs and redeploying administrative staff.

The NYPD has approximately 36,000 police officers, more than any other force in the United States.

It faces criticism for using force against largely peaceful protesters who demonstrated against the death of Mr Floyd on 25 May. 

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