Speaking Monday night from the Rose Garden yards away from flash bangs in nearby Lafayette Park, President Donald Trump made it clear he wants an end to the rioting, destruction and mayhem of the past week since the senseless death of George Floyd. Floyd’s brother, Terrance Floyd, expressed the same sentiment earlier today.
President Donald Trump vowed to quell unrest across the country on Monday, vowing to take militaristic action and to enforce a 7 p.m. ET curfew in the nation’s capital.
“I am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters,” Trump said.
But the scene just before he spoke was extraordinary, as police dispersed hundreds of demonstrators who were, by all accounts, peacefully protesting at the intersection of 16th & H, just on the edge of Lafayette Park. Police dispersed tear gas and flash bombs to disperse the crowd.
Attorney General William Barr appeared in the park just before Trump’s speech as if surveying the troops.
After the forceful speech, the president walked through a now peaceful Lafayette Park that was under siege moments ago “to pay tribute to a special place.” Finally, the President stopped in front of historic St. John’s church which was set on fire last night and held up a Bible. It was a powerful photo-op which was celebrated and mocked by supporters and detractors.
— Zannah (@The_Zannah) June 1, 2020
Democratic governors of some of the nation’s most populous states, such as Andrew Cuomo of New York, pushed back against President Donald Trump’s threat to deploy the U.S. military unless they dispatch National Guard units to “dominate the streets” in reaction to the violence that has erupted across the country.
As a result, looting and destruction continued to spiral out of control in Manhattan with a badly out-numbered police force unable to protect the streets Monday night.
Some demonstrations have turned violent, with people breaking into and stealing from businesses, smashing car windows and setting fires.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not deployed the state’s National Guard to New York City, although he said earlier Monday the state had 13,000 troops that “we can use at any moment.”
“I say thank you but no thank you,” Cuomo said on CNN about Trump’s call to send military troops to the states.
At least 23 states and the District of Columbia had already deployed guard troops as of Monday morning, according to a statement from the National Guard. It wasn’t clear whether the action would be enough to satisfy the president. Trump took no questions from reporters and did not say how he would decide whether a state’s response was sufficient.