- US President Donald Trump wants to use military force to stop the unrest in the USA if necessary.
- Accompanied by protests and chaotic scenes in front of the White House, Trump announced the mobilization of all available civil and military forces of his government on Monday evening (local time).
- From New York, the US broadcaster CNN reported looting again on Tuesday night – despite a curfew.
Speaking in the White House rose garden, Trump said: “We are ending the unrest and lawlessness that has spread in our country.” He added: “If a city or state refuses to take any measures necessary to protect the lives and property of its citizens, then I will use the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them. »
Demonstrations against police violence, racism and social injustice have been going on for days in Washington, New York and other US cities. The protests were triggered by the death of African American George Floyd after a brutal police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In many US metropolises, the demonstrations have turned into rioting and looting. More than 40 cities have curfews at night.
The George Floyd case
Lawyers of the von family George Floyd submitted an autopsy report on Monday, which contradicts the preliminary findings of the authorities and which is a heavy burden on the police. Independent coroners have come to the conclusion that Floyd was suffocated in the brutal police operation in Minneapolis last Monday, lawyer Ben Crump said.
Medical doctor Michael Baden, entrusted with the lawyers with Floyd’s autopsy, said: “The autopsy showed that there was no pre-existing condition that led to or contributed to his death.” The official coroner had previously blamed previous illnesses for Floyd’s death based on preliminary findings. He assumed that the 46-year-old did not suffocate.
During the police operation, one of four officers involved had floyd his neck down for almost nine minutes. He ignored all requests by the African American to let him breathe.
The four police officers were released. The white ex-policeman, who flattened his knee on the neck of Floyd, is charged with murder and is in custody. The lawyers’ announcement said two other police officers involved in the operation also contributed to Floyd’s death by putting pressure on his back. The fourth party was also liable because he had not intervened.
During Trump’s appearance in the rose garden, security forces used force to force demonstrators outside the White House using tear gas, among other things, as a dpa reporter reported. Military police were also used against demonstrators. Shops, restaurants and hotels in the area had barricaded their shop windows.
“The Organizers of Terror”
The protests continued not only in Washington, but also in other major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Oakland and Louisville. Trump has repeatedly urged democratic governors and mayors to crack down on rioters and accused them of weakness.
On Monday evening, the Republican again asked governors to deploy enough National Guard forces to bring the streets back under control. Trump threatened troublemakers with severe consequences. He warned “the organizers of the terror” and “long prison terms”.
“President is tearing land apart”
Democratic governors indignantly rejected Trump’s move. New York state governor Andrew Cuomo called it “shameful” that Trump wanted to use the military against Americans. The state governor of Illinois, J. B. Pritzker, told CNN that the president had no legal basis to deploy the U.S. military to states. His colleague Gretchen Whitmer, state governor of Michigan, said Trump could not use the military without her consent. Whitmer called Trump’s statements “dangerous and devastating”.
US elections in November
Trump said to the Americans: “I am your president for law and order.” He would fight to protect the country and its citizens. Trump wants to be re-elected for a second term in November and is trying to portray himself as a hardliner in the current crisis. On Monday, he spoke of the “unrest” of terror, for which he blamed “professional anarchists, a violent mob, arsonists, looters, the Antifa and others”. Trump had already announced on Sunday that Antifa would be banned. He left details open.
The leaders of the House and Senate Democrats, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, criticized that the Republican Trump continues to fuel discord and violence in the country. In a joint statement by Pelosis and Schumers, it said: “At a time when our country is calling for unification, this president is tearing it to pieces.”
SRF 4 News, June 2, 2020, 2:00 am; sda / dpa; indp; bisv