Donald Trump said “something snapped” in the ex-Minneapolis cop who knelt on the neck of George Floyd, leading to his death and the week of protests and riots that followed.
In an interview with his former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Mr Trump said a terrible thing happened in the death of Mr Floyd.
“It was a terrible thing; it should never have happened; something snapped, I think, with the policeman, and the other three watching it were – I guess you can’t put it in the same category, but it was certainly in a very bad category,” Mr Trump said.
“Nothing good comes out of that. Nope, that was a very bad thing.”
Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd for almost nine minutes as he said “I can’t breathe” and pleaded for his mother, while three other officers failed to intervene.
All four were fired and have been charged over the death.
Speaking during an interview on Spicer & Co aired on Newsmax TV on Wednesday, Mr Trump criticised the mayor of Minneapolis for his handling of the death in police custody.
An outpouring of grief over the death spread from Minneapolis through the rest of the United States and across the globe; starting with peaceful protests but also including incidents of destructive looting and violent riots.