JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.– On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Governor Mike Parson started his press conference talking about George Floyd.
“George Floyd should never have died the way he died,” Parson said.
“It wasn’t acceptable for what the officer did, and they need to be held accountable for that. Nor should that retired police officer who died last night. The people who shot him should be accountable.”
According to the Associated Press, a retired St. Louis police officer was shot and killed early Tuesday by people who had broken into a pawn shop during the civil unrest that followed a peaceful protest over the death of George Floyd.
“That has nothing to do with protesting,” said Governor Parson. “It has nothing to do with George Floyd. It has to do with criminal behavior.”
“This is organized crime is what it is,” Parson later said.
“When all of a sudden you see pallets of bricks show up, or pallets of blocks show up. You’re having a strategy where dumpsters are, where you pull them out and you set them on fire. They know to burn police cars because it gets more of the media coverage. And their main focus is to get to the police station so they can disrupt the services there.”
The National Guard and other Missouri resources, according to Governor Parson, have been called to help prevent other protest-adjacent crimes committed by what Parson called “thugs” on Tuesday.
“We are not going to have police officers, we are not going to have the citizens of Missouri being shot in our streets,” said Governor Parson.
Governor Parson called those listening to his conference to consider the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“They protested in the daylight,” Governor Parson said. “They wanted people to see them. They wanted people to know they were out there. They didn’t hide under the covers of darkness to commit crimes.”
The governor says he will be using “every resource he has” to stop the “chaos” in Missouri.