On Senate Floor, Portman Voices Frustration Over Lawlessness Co-opting Peaceful Demonstrations Across the Country

July 2, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) addressed the lawlessness that has erupted in cities throughout the nation and emphasized that the violence was undermining the cause of the peaceful demonstrators and further dividing an already polarized country.

In June, Portman spoke on the Senate floor about the hurt and anger being felt across the country in response to egregious examples of police brutality against people of color. He highlighted the need to work together to address the long-standing racial disparities and injustices that continue to occur in our country. Portman strongly supports the right of those who are peacefully protesting and also made clear that those rioting, looting, and destroying businesses and other properties are co-opting the moment of pain in our country.

A transcript of the speech can be found below and a video can be found here.

“I hadn’t planned to talk about this but I was watching the floor earlier today when there was a heated discussion on the Senate floor about the chaos and violence we have seen on the streets in many of our great cities. The peaceful demonstrations that developed really spontaneously after the tragic death of George Floyd and other injustices delivered a powerful message about the need to address racial disparities, about the need for police reforms and the right to demonstrate peacefully must be protected. But the looting, the desecration of monuments, the arson, and the destruction of property, including small businesses in some of these communities of color -- it breaks my heart to see some of these small business owners talk about what they’re going through -- the injuries to our law enforcement officers who are just doing their jobs, doing what they’re asked to do in a professional way, and of course the self-appointed statue destroyers that we have seen, this lawlessness in too many instances must not be tolerated. Those who have exploited the situation and the peaceful demonstrations to foment this violence are undermining the cause of the peaceful marchers. And further dividing an already-polarized country.”