“I’ve just concluded a meeting with incredible families, just incredible families that have been through so much,” Trump said today in a Rose Garden press briefing. “The families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antwon Rose, Jemel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, and Everett Palmer.”
But Rose’s mother, Michelle Kenney, took to social media to say that she never met with Trump. And that she was in Washington, D.C. to meet with senators in hopes of convincing them to pass meaningful police reform.
She wrote on Facebook that she chose not to meet with Trump because she “won’t have conversation with someone that clearly will never have any empathy” and that she didn’t want to be “part of any media ploys.”
“I AM NOT IN THE WHITE HOUSE, I CHOSE NOT TO MEET THEIR PRESIDENT!” she wrote on Facebook. “... I CANT STAND THE LIES!!!”
Furthermore, Kenney also spoke with WESA editor Chris Potter for a different story earlier today, and also told him that she would not be going to the White House.
I spoke to Antwon Rose's mother this morning. She said she was NOT going to the White House today, and I have confirmed she did not. https://t.co/nX2z8WKQax— Chris Potter (@CPotterPgh) June 16, 2020
In a statement sent to CNBC, Kenney reiterated that she never met with Trump.
“While my family and I appreciate that the President referenced Antwon’s name in his speech, we wanted to clarify that we never met with the President under any circumstances and do not plan to,” said Kenney to CNBC.
White House spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said the president’s meeting earlier with the families “was a very important meeting, a very emotional meeting.”
According to CNBC, when asked by a reporter why the families who met with Trump didn’t join him for the public ceremony, White House adviser Ja’Ron Smith said, “It was a mutual decision because it really wasn’t about doing a photo opportunity.” Trump was instead accompanied by law enforcement officials during the ceremony.
Trump has been criticized for his executive order on police reform, which bans choke holds by police officers, unless officers deems their lives are “at risk,” among other initiatives.
U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Forest Hill) issued a statement saying the order "falls far short of bringing about the much-needed reforms and accountability we need to stop police brutality." Doyle instead said Congress and the president should support the Justice In Policing Act, which he says would ban racial profiling, restrict excessive use of force by officers, and end militarization of police departments.
INBOX: @USRepMikeDoyle says Trump's executive order banning police chokeholds, which bans them except when officers claim they fear for their life, "falls far short of bringing about the much-needed reforms and accountability we need to stop police brutality." pic.twitter.com/MI3Puu4Ul2— Ryan Deto (@RyanDeto) June 16, 2020