A North Carolina lawmaker blasted out a furious statement calling Black Lives Matter protesters “ignorant thugs,” “criminals,” “domestic terrorists” and “vermin.” State Representative Larry Pittman, a Republican, wrote on Facebook that police should shoot protesters if they offer even slight resistance, saying “this is war” and that leaders should be on “our side.” Protests against police brutality have erupted worldwide in the wake of the alleged murder of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. Pittman also offered unfounded conspiracy theories about the demonstrations: “These vermin don’t care about George Floyd or any other individual, except maybe their financial sponsor, George Soros.” The representative is no stranger to outlandish Facebook statements: In 2017, he likened Abraham Lincoln to Adolf Hitler. He’s up for election in November for his fifth term.
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