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Former Obama aide goes off on looters: 'There are human beings that live in this goddamn neighborhood'

Former Obama aide goes off on looters: 'There are human beings that live in this goddamn neighborhood'
© Getty Images

A former aide to President Obama lashed out at looters in New York, calling on them to not use the George Floyd protests as an excuse to ransack parts of the city.

Speaking on the sidewalk Saturday night near a bus stop that appeared to have been set on fire, Desiree Barnes unloaded on the vandals, accusing them of destroying neighborhoods and housing used by the working poor and people of color.

“These are people who live in public housing and you just made a f------ melee!” she said. “You took down bus routes. There are people who live in this neighborhood who have to go uptown to work. You are here profiting off of our pain!"

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“You think it's OK to take down a neighborhood?” Barnes said. “You don't see corporations here, there are human beings that live in this goddamn neighborhood."

"These people in this neighborhood deserve better," she added. "I’m talking about the people who go to the methadone clinic down the goddamn street, and you think this is a protest?”

Barnes worked in the Obama White House press shop.

The video of her excoriating looters went viral and was shared by several senior Democrats, including Jennifer Palmieri, who was White House communications director during the Obama administration.

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“As you protest, every single last one of you, you think about what it's like to be a black woman in this neighborhood who lives with people in public housing, who now has to walk through, who bags your groceries and drop off your food and defend you and go up town to a hospital to serve this community,” Barnes said. “So as you’re out here be responsible. Have a f------ plan. You can protest all you want but the shit I just saw take place, there are homeless people who rely on those banks to charge their f------ phones!”

There have been massive, largely peaceful protests in New York City and across the nation demanding justice for Floyd, the unarmed black man who died after a former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes to restrain him.

In major U.S. cities, some have taken advantage of the large-scale demonstrations to destroy and ransack private businesses and public property.

Businesses in New York are estimated to have sustained tens of millions of dollars from damages and theft during the protests.

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoAlbany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Another former Cuomo aide accuses him of harassment David Sirota: Media should 'apologize' for early coverage of Cuomo's pandemic handling MORE (D) has criticized New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioAs Trump steps back in the spotlight, will Cuomo exit stage left? NY lawmakers agree to strip Cuomo of pandemic-related emergency powers The Memo: Cuomo's fall raises questions for media MORE (D) and the New York Police Department for failing to control the criminal elements participating in the demonstrations.

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE has focused almost exclusively on the outbreak of crime, threatening to send the military into American cities to put an end to the destruction.