“There was no violence there,” Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire told MSNBC viewers, speaking about the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.
“In June, these were nonviolent protesters, racially mixed, a lot of young people fueled by the Black Lives Matter movement, those outraged by the death of George Floyd, a black man killed under the knee of a white police officer in Minnesota. There was no violence there,” Lemire said, describing the weeks of demonstrations that occurred outside the White House in June.
He then criticized former President Donald Trump for his efforts to restore order to Pennsylvania Avenue amid rioting and arson attacks, one of which targeted St. John’s church, 150 feet away from the White House. St. John’s was constructed in 1816 and has been used by every president since James Madison.
However, according to the AP reporter, Trump’s efforts to extinguish the violence was unwarranted, motivated only by a desire for the then-president to have a “photo op … standing there in front of the church and then holding a Bible as if he’d never held one before.”
The AP’s @JonLemire claims the George Floyd protests/riots, which led to an $2 billion in damages, 14,000 arrests, 20+ deaths & 12 cops shot, “were nonviolent.”
“These were nonviolent protesters, racially mixed, a lot of young people … There was no violence there." pic.twitter.com/swRhZI3jp4
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 4, 2021
Ironically, Lemire’s own outlet actually covered some of the violence perpetrated by BLM protesters last year. For example, the AP published a video in May that shows a scene in Louisville, Kentucky, after protest attendees opened fire, leaving seven shot including two police officers. Meanwhile, “no officers fired their service weapons,” according to the report.
Lemire’s employer also published footage of rioters overrunning and burning a Minneapolis police station, and hundreds of similar clips that show violence in streets across America.
By July, the violence had grown so severe that the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED) deemed it necessary to open a special U.S. branch just to record how many people where harmed or killed amid the political unrest, per the Guardian. The ACLED is mainly known for its work tracking engagements and casualties in Yemen.
However, Lemire is not the only reporter who tells the public that the 2020 riots were peaceful. These instances of severe violence have been increasingly ignored by the media.
The New York Times recently criticized Hispanic men who vote Republican, saying they’re the victims of “misinformation” who entertain “conspiracy theories” like “a belief that Black Lives Matter protests caused widespread violence.”
Now, Minneapolis is braced for a second round of violence ahead of the Derek Chauvin trial. Chauvin stands accused of killing George Floyd.
Although Minneapolis business owners are already boarding up their storefronts to brace for riots, the city says this may not be enough. Instead property owners are encouraged to install “permanent security gates” to protect themselves.