Donald Trump threatens military to end George Floyd protests after tear gas used to clear out White House demonstrators – The Sun
DONALD Trump has threatened to deploy the military to combat the nationwide protests in response to George Floyd's death.
Speaking from the Rose Garden on Monday, the president said he'd put "thousands" of troops on the streets to "solve the problem" of rioting.
"America is founded on the rule of law," Trump said, adding: "If malice or violence reigns, then none of us are free".
As the president spoke, loud explosions could be heard in the background as tear gas was fired at protesters on the streets of Washington DC.
Before the speech, officers near the White House aggressively forced the protesters back, firing tear gas and using flash bangs to disperse them from the park where they had gathered.
As helicopter blades chopped loudly the skies above, Trump said: "My first and highest duty as president is to defend our great country and the American people.
"I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation and that is exactly what I will do."
The president said that justice would be served for George Floyd, the unarmed African American who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes last week.
Nationwide protests were sparked after a video of Floyd struggling to breath was released – and Trump declared himself an "ally of all peaceful protestors."
This comes as:
- Protesters in Washington DC were tear gassed and had rubber bullets shot at them while Trump paid homage to a church hit by arsonists during Sunday night's rallies
- A toxicology report from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner revealed Floyd suffered a heart attack during his brutal arrest and his death was ruled a homicide
- Trump instructed "weak" US governors to jail "terrorist" protesters for ten years as the mostly peaceful protests nationwide have erupted in violence
- Terrence Floyd urged protesters in Minneapolis to stop rioting because "messing up our community won't bring" his brother back
The protests, however, have spawned outbreaks of looting, with Trump declaring he would deploy "thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers" to bring order.
Over recent days, calls from the Republican donors and those on Capitol Hill have increased as Trump supporters looked for the president to address the nationwide unrest.
Minutes after his speech, Trump walked out of the White House to pay tribute to a nearby church that was damaged during the unrest.
Guarded by Secret Service agents, the president walked past graffiti from the demonstrations and stood outside the damaged church holding a Bible.
Trump's remarks came as demonstrations kicked off to mark nearly a week of unrest over Floyd's death.
Americans have taken to the streets in cities across the country to display their anger at police brutality and racism, with protesters saying the third-degree murder charge against officer Derek Chauvin isn't enough.
Senior defense officials told the Associated Press on Monday between 600 and 800 National Guard members were deployed to the nation's capital to quell the increasingly heated protests.
The troops are patrolling on the ground or will arrive by midnight, the officials said.
Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser pleaded with demonstrators to "go home" while chastising the decision of federal cops to use munition on peaceful protesters "shameful".
Police fired flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas at demonstrators near the White House shortly before the 7pm curfew went into place.
Officers with the Metropolitan Police of DC encircled protesters as they chanted and waved signs before being arrested just before 8pm for violating curfew, according to the Washington Post.
In Pennsylvania, massive group of protesters spilled onto Interstate 676 in Philadelphia to demand an end to police brutality against black people.
Demonstrators shut down the Benjamin Franklin bridge, with some scaling a fence as police officers raced to the scene, according to WPVI.
More than two dozen people were arrested as a few hundred protesters blocked the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
The National Guard stationed vehicles outside City Hall and other downtown buildings as the City of Brotherly Love enacted a citywide curfew for a third day following a weekend of destruction.
Meanwhile, New York City entered its fifth night of mostly peaceful protests marred by acts of looting and violence.
Hours before rallies kicked off in Manhattan, hundreds of New Yorkers packed into Times Square for a massive show of solidarity for Floyd and his family.
The New York Times reported some stores boarded up their windows in anticipation of another night of looting throughout the city.
At around 8pm, several people ransacked a Nike store downtown near Union Square, where demonstrators gathered earlier in the day, according to the newspaper.
Reports of NYPD officers being commanded to "shoot that motherf****r" in regards to protesters surfaced on Twitter as looters continued to break into stores in at least three boroughs.
Journalist Sarah Emily Baum claimed cops were instructed to "just run them over" as protesters in Brooklyn hit the streets.
Trump's visit and another night of clashes between protesters and police came as a second autopsy determined Floyd's death was a homicide.
The autopsy conducted by Michael Baden and Allecia Wilson called for the 44-year-old former cop to be charged with first-degree murder.
"He couldn't breathe and that is homicidal," Baden said, adding that Floyd's face was harshly pressed into the pavement.
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