Violence escalates overnight after Trump's threat to deploy army — George Floyd protests

02 Juin, 2020, 16:36 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Violence escalates overnight after Trump's threat to deploy army — George Floyd protests

President Donald Trump promised a forceful response to violent protests across the United States and threatened to deploy US military forces if cities and states fail to contain unruly demonstrations touched off by the death of a black man in police custody.

"These are not acts of peaceful protests".

President Trump walked to the historic St. John's Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

"As we speak", Trump said, "I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily-armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property".

A dramatic Trump photo-op preceded the night, in which Washington DC policeforcefully cleared the streetswith teargas, rubber bullets and flash-bangs so the president could pose in front of a church and hold the bible.

Meanwhile from the Rose Garden Trump said he's an ally of peaceful demonstrators but warned, 'I am your president of law and order'.

If localities refused to take "necessary" actions to stop protests, Trump said, "I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them".

He said anti-fascist group Antifa was a "leading instigator" of the riots.

National Guardsmen and Los Angeles police officers stand guard as protests continue Sunday.

It was a photo op created to show that Trump was retaking control of the city, but one that did not please everyone who witnessed it.

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Pentagon officials said the primary role of the new National Guard forces would be to defend national monuments, protect the White House and coordinate with Washington's police.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment from reporters.

Don Jr.is referring to the fact that Trump was taken to a secure bunker on Friday as angry protests took place outside the White House.

The protests follow the death of 46-year-old African American man George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police last week. His death has sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that have spread to cities around America, including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington, and NY. On Monday, Trump said he would deploy the military to restore order in states where governors and mayors failed to establish "overwhelming law enforcement presence".

He continued: "You have to dominate". Earlier on Monday Mr. Trump told state Governors on a call that they needed to "dominate" protesters and if they did not, they would end up looking "like a bunch of jerks". He called the governors "weak".

All Americans were rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd.

Floyd, who was on the ground and handcuffed at the time, died after saying he couldn't breathe. The episode prompted a nationwide outcry and set off protests around the country.

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, the Right Rev. Mariann Budde, told the Washington Post that she'd seen the president in front of St. Johns on television and was not informed beforehand.

"In no way do we support the President's incendiary response to a wounded, grieving nation", Budde said in her statement.

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