Washington | During the ongoing national crisis after the killing of George Floyd, National Guard troops were deployed near the White House on Monday evening. This happened hours after the President Donald Trump said that he was going to mobilize heavily armed military to stop protests.
Soon, after this, the US President came out to the Rose Garden to call himself the “law and order” president and blamed “domestic violence” for the unrest.
“As we speak, 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,” he said. “We will end it now.”
He also urged various state governors to use the National Guard troops to “dominate the streets” and threatened to deploy the active duty military if governors failed to use the National Guard more forcefully.
Addressing the people, he said that he many invoke the 1807 Insurgent Act which allows the US President to use military inside US to deal with civil disorder.
Before Trump’s address, tear gas had been used to clear from protestors in what was called as peaceful protest near Lafayatte Park from the White House and near St. John’s Church. Protestors have set this area on fire a day ago.
Several truckloads of DC National Guard military police had arrived near Lafayette Park where large groups of protesters had fought with police for the past three nights, at one point on Friday causing officials to have Trump taken to a bunker below the White House for his protection.
A U.S. official said that active duty Army military police units from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, were preparing to be on standby in the Washington, D.C. area Monday night after three days of violent protests.
The National Guard troops are going to be protecting national monuments, the White House, property, and infrastructure, the official said.
Not all DC Guard troops will be armed, the official said.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley and Barr were seen walking near the police line in Lafayette Park as military vehicles were stationed nearby.
Mayor Muriel Bowser Monday afternoon declared a curfew beginning at 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The curfew time roughly coincided with the dispersal of the protesters and Trump’s walkover to the photo op at the church.
“During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other mode of transport upon any street, alley, park, or other public place within the District,” the mayor’s order said.
Earlier, as the White House geared up for another night of protests outside its gates, President Trump lashed out at governors for their handling of demonstrations over George Floyd’s death, emphasizing instances of rioting and looting that marred overwhelmingly peaceful protests across the country.
As his press secretary cited Martin Luther King Jr.’s support for nonviolence, Trump shared a message from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who suggested unleashing a U.S. Army air assault division on those carrying out “anarchy, rioting, and looting.”
Rather than focus on protesters’ grievances — such as systemic racism and police brutality — Trump has increasingly turned his focus to squelching the civil unrest that has accompanied the national demonstrations and has taken a hardline stance to restoring order.
He has said, without offering evidence, that much of the rioting that has wracked American cities over recent nights has been carried out by supporters of the amorphous “antifa” movement — a loose group of people who define themselves as anti-fascist. He tweeted Sunday that the U.S. would designate the group a terrorist organization, but the White House did not say Monday under what legal authority it would do so, nor did it explain how it could prosecute its members as terrorists.