With a backdrop of disturbing protester-police confrontations, a new digital ad from the Service Employees International Union seeks to blame President Donald Trump‘s rhetoric on police abuses toward Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
The SEIU is running the 30-second ad “Dominate” out on streaming-television platforms and social media targeting voters of color in Florida and three other swing states, Nevada, Virginia and Pennsylvania. It launched Thursday.
The $350,000 placement kicks off the SEIU’s $150 million 2020 electoral program the labor union said is designed to expand the electorate by reaching infrequent Black and Brown voters.
The ad begins with images of peaceful protesters, and then shifts to video footage of confrontations from demonstrations in New York City and Fort Lauderdale, showing police striking, pushing, ramming, clubbing, and shooting at protesters. The final, stunning, image, shows two protesters walking slowly down a dark street in New York with their hands up, when an officer in a police line, perhaps 30 yards away, fires something and hits one of them, knocking him off his feet.
While those images play out, viewers hear audio from Trump’s call with Governors on June 1, during which he said protesters were terrorists, radicals, and anarchists.
“This is a movement. And the only time it’s successful is when you’re weak. And most of you are weak. You have to arrest people and you have to try people. And they have to go to jail for long periods of time. You have to dominate.”
As Trump’s voice makes those statements, the screen is filled with images of tear gas, police vehicles ramming through crowds, officers swinging batons, protesters shoved to the ground, and finally, the two men alone, dozens of yards from police, as one of them goes down with a gunshot.
The ad ends with a narrator urging, “Use Your Voice. Vote him out.”
In a news release, SEIU said it plans to release more ads this summer about the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, calling on protestors to vote.