US National Guard Hit Streets in DC amid Reports Trump Considering More Active-Duty Troops To Quell Protests
By Staff, Agencies
The US National Guard has been spotted on the streets of Washington, DC following days of angry protests across dozens of American cities, as US President Donald Trump 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 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.
As unrest over police brutality roils city after city – often boiling over into arson, looting and clashes with law enforcement – 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.
In a surprise, Trump said he would deploy the military to stop the unrest in DC and said he would intervene elsewhere if local authorities fail to restore order after days of riots. By all indications he has yet to invoke the Insurrection Act, however.
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 military official.