Gov. Cuomo to President Trump: ‘You can’t use the military as a political weapon’

Coronavirus

Editor’s note: The governor’s press conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. EDT will be live streamed from this page.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — New York state’s governor addressed the continued protests of police brutality in cities across the nation and state during his daily briefing in Albany Wednesday.

“Mr. Floyd was nonviolent,” Gov. Cuomo said. “He was nonviolent against the police, the crime that they were possibly investigating was a nonviolent crime. Violence actually demeans the situation and looses the righteous indignation.”

The governor said it’s important to regonize the difference between peaceful protesters and violent looters.

“Last night we had continued protests across the state, but there are two very different situations that are going on and we have to keep them separate and we have to address then as separation situations because they are night and day,” Gov. Cuomo said.

‘You listen to their point, I think they’re right. You look at Mr. Floyd’s murder on TV and it is reprehensible,” Gov. Cuomo said. “There is no police officer in this nation that would defend that and people are appalled and again it’s not the first time.

“Looting is criminal behavior, pure and simple,” Gov. Cuomo said. “There’s no message, there’s no righteousness. These are opportunists. It’s criminal behavior designed to create chaos.”

The governor said 49 New Yorkers died Tuesday from COVID-19, the lowest number since the pandemic reached the state in early March.

“That is going better than it has ever gone in New York,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We have the lowest number of hospitalizations ever and we have the lowest death toll ever.”

The governor addressed recent comments and actions by President Donald Trump.

“The president help up the Bible the other day, in New York we actually read the Bible,” Gov. Cuomo said before citing several passages regarding peace.

The governor also criticized the president’s endorsement of military force to maintain order.

“You can’t use the military as a political weapon,” Gov. Cuomo said.

As to the reasoning behind the president’s decisions, the governor said he’s not qualified to answer that question.

“Far be it from me to psychoanalyze the president of the United States,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The president has failed to do anything positive for New York. Is it politics? Who knows.”

Locally, as cases continue to rise, groups of people also continue to meet throughout the Rochester region to show their support for Floyd. There have now been 227 COVID-19 deaths and 2,931 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County, including 43 new cases since 24 hours prior.

MORE | Unrest in Rochester Town Hall: Community leaders discuss race relations after weekend conflict

Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.

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