Spike Lee has accused U.S. President Donald Trump of trying to be “a dictator” in a powerful attack on the controversial leader.
The Do the Right Thing director has long been a vocal opponent of the businessman-turned-politician, and in a new interview with the BBC, insisted he’s directly responsible for America’s current race and division issues.
“He’s a gangster, he’s trying to be a dictator,” said Lee, before discussing Trump’s response to the turmoil across the U.S.
Trump has threatened to send in the National Guard to stop growing civil unrest, and on Monday, he walked from the White House to a nearby church to hold up a Bible, after demonstrators were cleared from his path with tear gas.
“I was watching this last night with my family and we were all screaming in disbelief that this thing was staged,” the filmmaker explained. “This show of force – gassing, beating innocent, peaceful bystanders so you could clear the street so you could take a walk to the church. It was ridiculous.
“I have never seen something like that before in my life, particularly with a world leader.”
Protests are taking place across America following the death of 46-year-old African-American man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers last week.
All four police officers involved have been fired and one, Derek Chauvin, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – he was caught on camera kneeling on Floyd’s neck for close to nine minutes.