The National Guard has been spotted on the streets of Washington, DC following days of violent unrest across dozens of American cities, as the president considers additional troop deployments to crack down on the riots.
A number of armored military vehicles and personnel carriers were seen near the White House on Monday evening in videos posted to social media, a little more than an hour before the city’s new 7pm curfew is set to go into effect.
The National Guard has arrived. This is between the Executive Office Building and the White House. pic.twitter.com/2HXXRLABYB
— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) June 1, 2020
Motorcade of National Guard vehicles and troops heading downtown on E Capitol St about two hours before the DC curfew goes into effect. Every vehicle including the bus at the end was full of armed guards. Stay safe out there. #dcprotest pic.twitter.com/JsOtjvc1nl
— Sarah Trister (@SarahTrister) June 1, 2020
Large number of military humvees stationed in front of DC Armory right now. Police Chief says he expects larger National Guard deployment across the District tonight after Mayor Bowser called Secretary of the Army to discuss last nights operations. @Fox5DC pic.twitter.com/YoHSwY9pRN
— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) June 1, 2020
The entire DC National Guard – some 1,700 troops – was called into the nation’s capital late on Sunday to assist police in holding off crowds of angry demonstrators voicing outrage over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. The Guard’s presence in the streets is expected to be heavier on Monday, however, as security forces on previous nights have struggled to control the unruly crowds – at one point forcing the White House to be placed on lockdown.
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As unrest over police brutality roils city after city – often boiling over into arson, looting and clashes with law enforcement – US President Donald Trump is considering invoking the Insurrection Act, a 19th century law that would allow him to deploy active-duty troops to put down chaos and rioting, according to NBC News. The law was last invoked during 1992’s riots in Los Angeles.
Active-duty soldiers and military police have already been moved to an area outside DC and placed on “heightened alert status,” but have not yet been deployed, Reuters reported, citing a senior defense official.
The president has expressed frustration with state governors for not taking a more aggressive approach, insisting they had to “dominate” the rioters, adding “You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again.”
As of Monday, over 17,000 National Guard troops have been deployed to at least 23 states and DC to manage the turmoil, more than tripling their presence since the day prior as countless cities also introduce curfew orders. Rioting kicked off last week in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, igniting protests and unrest in at least 75 other locations around the country since.
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