Trump threatens military force as protests flare across US

710 views
US President Donald Trump threatened the nation's governors on Monday that he would deploy the military to states if they did not stamp out violent protests over police brutality that have roiled the nation over the past week. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump threatened the nation's governors on Monday that he would deploy the military to states if they did not stamp out violent protests over police brutality that have roiled the nation over the past week.

The police in a number of US states have failed to quell growing civil unrest over the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody.

“I am mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law abiding Americans,” Trump said during a hastily arranged address at the White House.

“Today I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming presence until the violence is quelled,” Trump said.

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” said the president.

Four police meanwhile were shot and injured on Monday night during unrest in St. Louis, Missouri.

The protests began after a video showed Floyd, 46, being arrested in Minneapolis on May 25 and a white police officer continuing to kneel on his neck even after he pleaded that he could not breathe.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and will appear in court next week. Three other police officers have been fired.

But Trump’s warning to deploy the military has caused deep and growing discomfort among some Pentagon officials.

They have tried to respond by making a strong case that the situation does not yet call for deploying active duty troops unless state governors make a clear argument such forces are needed.

"There is an intense desire for local law enforcement to be in charge," a defense official said to CNN, alluding to the laws that forbid the military from performing law enforcement roles inside the United States. — Agencies


710 views