May 30, 2020

ASKING ALEXANDRIA guitarist Ben Bruce has spoken out about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and ensuing protests across the country.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on Monday (May 25) as Minneapolis police arrested him outside a convenience store on a report of a counterfeit bill being passed. The 46-year-old was seen on a bystander's video gasping for breath during an arrest in which an officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes. In the footage, Floyd is heard pleading with officers, "I cannot breathe... Don't kill me," while the officers ignore his pleas. He eventually stops talking and moving. Video of the killing sparked riots and outrage across the country.

Earlier today, Bruce took to his Twitter to write: "I haven't said anything about what's going on in the states at the moment in regards to the riots etc...not due to a lack of caring....more so because the inexcusable, disgusting, racist behavior and actions that have plagued the nation have simply left me at a loss for words."

The 31-year-old British-born musician, who currently resides in Arizona, continued: "People say to me 'you're not American so it doesn't concern you' but the fact is it's not just an American's a HUMAN problem.

"We need to treat each other with love, respect and compassion. We are all equals. We all love, hurt, feel, breath the same...

"I just can't understand how racism is still such a huge problem....

"It's not enough at this point to just not be racist....we have to beat this. We have to end racism.

"It's a sad time in history....but it's a necessary time in history.... Maybe 2020 can be the year that they teach future generations about as the year that racism was beaten.

"We are all in this together."

As cable news networks carried images of fires and destructive protests in Minneapolis, President Donald Trump called the protesters "THUGS" and tweeted "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." He later sought to clarify what he meant, saying "the looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters.”

He tweeted: "looting leads to shooting and that's why a man was shot and killed in Minneapolis on Wednesday night - or look at what just happened in Louisville with 7 people shot."

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