The President of the United States, Donald Trump, called for a strong hand on Saturday against protesters in Minneapolis (Minnesota), which he called “the radical left”, and expressed to state authorities his willingness to send the Army to appease riots during protests against the death of a black man at the hands of the Police.
“We have the Army ready and willing. If (the Minnesota authorities) want to call the Army, we can have the troops on the ground very quickly,” Trump said in remarks to reporters in Washington, before leaving for Florida to attend the launch. to space from Cape Canaveral of the NASA-SpaceX Demo-2 mission.
The president called the protesters anti-fascists and of being on the “radical left,” and considered that the Minnesota authorities should be “harsher, stronger, because by being tough the memory of George Floyd is honored.”
The death of Floyd, a black man, at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis when he was arrested last Monday has triggered a wave of protests and riots against police brutality in this city and in other parts of the country, where the altercations.
THE NATIONAL GUARD, MOBILIZED TO THE FULL
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Saturday ordered the full mobilization of the state’s National Guard (a reserve corps) to deal with the situation in Minneapolis, where a nocturnal curfew was declared for two days on Friday. has managed to stop the altercations.
“Last night was a joke that this was about the death of George Floyd. It is going to attack civil society, instigate fear and disturb our big cities,” said Walz, who explained that “the dynamic” has changed since Tuesday, when the protests were peaceful. “We have seen more people from out of town, this is unacceptable.”
Minnesota has 13,200 National Guard personnel, but not all of them are ready for deployment, with which the authorities mobilized 2,500 this Saturday, compared to the 1,700 that had been initially reported.
General John Jensen, who commands the National Guard in Minnesota, revealed that they have asked the Pentagon for assistance and that he has held talks in the past 24 hours with Defense Secretary Mark Esper. “We are looking at what resources we can have, whether they are intelligence or otherwise,” he said without giving more details.
THE ARMY PREPARES TO DEPLOY
The New York Times, citing “officials,” said the Defense Department is preparing to deploy active Military Police units to Minneapolis at Trump’s request.
If it occurs, it is possible that the first units to do so would be those of Fort Bragg, in North Carolina, and that of Fort Drum, in New York, indicated the sources consulted by the newspaper, who, however, clarified that the current order “preparing to deploy” does not mean that they will be activated for sure, although this is a first step.
The National Guard has already been activated not only in Minnesota but also in other parts of the US, such as Kentucky, as is usually done when there are riots, but the deployment of the Military Police would mean an escalation in the authorities’ response.
The New York Times recalled that the Military Police was employed in 1992 during the Los Angeles, California riots that followed the acquittal of four police officers who beat up African-American Rodney King.
In his statements today, Trump was also critical of the management of the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, who assured that he belongs to “the radical left.”
Previously, in a tweet, the president had ironized about the mayor, noting that “he will never be confused with the late and great general Douglas McArthur or the great soldier general George Patton. How is it possible that all these sites that are so poorly defended are run by Liberal Democrats? Get strong and fight (and stop the bad guys) FORCE! “
AND TRUMP URGES A “MAGA” EVENING AT THE WHITE HOUSE
In his messages on the social network, Trump insisted on his criticisms of the participants in the protests, which he considers to be “organized groups that have nothing to do with George Floyd”, and urged the celebration tonight of an evening of MAGA , referring to his Make America Great Again election motto, at the White House.
Asked about this possible protest by his supporters in front of the presidential mansion, as opposed to the one registered yesterday against police violence, Trump stressed that his followers are “people who love their country”: “By the way, they love African-Americans, they love blacks. “
On Thursday night, the protests expanded from Minnesota to other states, and on Friday they further expanded, with fires, looting, and clashes between protesters and riot police in different parts such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, and Detroit, where a young man was shot dead.
In front of the White House there was a protest that led to skirmishes between the protesters and the Secret Service, which watches over the security of the presidential mansion and whose work Trump praised on Twitter on Saturday.