US President Donald Trump said on Monday he was deploying thousands of heavily armed soldiers and law enforcement to stop violence in the US capital and vowed to do the same in other cities if mayors and governors fail to regain control of the streets, France 24 reports.
Trump threatens to send US military into cities to quell protests
STEPANAKERT, JUNE 2, ARTSAKHPRESS: As Trump spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House, live television images showed police firing tear gas to dispel demonstrators in Lafayette Park, across the street.
"Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled," Trump said. "If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are 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."
The demonstrations, largely peaceful during the day but turning violent after dark, have erupted over the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died in Minneapolis police custody after being pinned beneath a white officer's knee for nearly nine minutes.
A second autopsy ordered by Floyd's family and released on Monday found that his death was a homicide by "mechanical asphyxiation," meaning some physical force interfered with his oxygen supply. The report says three officers contributed to Floyd's death.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner on Monday released details of its autopsy findings that also said Floyd's death was a homicide caused by asphyxiation. The county report added that Floyd suffered cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by police and that he had arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.
Dozens of cities across the United States remain under curfews at levels not seen since riots that broke out following the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The National Guard deployed in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
One person was killed in Louisville, Kentucky, overnight where police and National Guard troops returned fire while trying to disperse a crowd. Police in Chicago fielded some 10,000 calls for looting, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Terrence Floyd, the victim's brother, told the gathering he wanted people to get educated, vote and not destroy their own communities. "Let's do this another way," he said.
Floyd's death was the latest to prompt an outcry over racism in law enforcement. It reignited outrage across a politically and racially divided country that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with African Americans accounting for a disproportionately high number of cases.
The U.S. Justice Department has directed the Bureau of Prisons to send riot-control teams to Miami and Washington, D.C., to help manage the protests, a department official told reporters.
Department investigators are interviewing people arrested during protests who might face federal charges for such offenses as crossing state lines to incite violence, the official said.
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Many cities affected by the unrest are allowing some businesses to reopen after more than two months of stay-at-home orders to stem a pandemic that has killed more than 104,000 people and left 40 million others jobless.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden met with black community leaders in a church and said he would create a police oversight board within his first 100 days in the White House if elected.