United States President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy military personnel on American soil in order to quell the riots and demonstrations occurring all over America protesting the death of George Floyd.
Floyd’s death was declared a homicide in a postmortem examination, as reported by BBC on Monday, and has sparked mass protests all over the United States. These have been mostly peaceful, but several others escalated into riots that have led to destruction of property and other incidents of violence. As a result, with more than 16,000 military personnel being deployed around the country already, President Trump made a statement outside of the White House on Monday, declaring that he is willing to escalate military intervention to take action.
“I’m 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, according to BBC. “If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary… then I’ll deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
Trump also labelled anti-fascist civil organisation, Antifa, as terrorists and “professional anarchists” and threatened to send out troops “in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets”.
“I want the organisers of this terror to be on notice that you’ll face severe criminal penalties,” he added.
In response to Trump’s statements, presumptive Democratic nominee for this year’s presidential election, Joe Biden said that the president “[was] using the American military against the American people”.
The George Floyd protests have now entered their seventh day, leading many major cities to impose curfews in response to violent conduct.