Protests in the U.S. have intensified as President Donald Trump has deployed the American military to bring the situation under control.
Protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the U.S. has set the stage for potential fresh clashes, a week after nationwide rallies ignited in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis.
The protests have rocked major streets of cities in the U.S. including Washington, New York, and Los Angeles.
In Washington, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of a newly erected fence that prevented them from entering a park outside the White House, which federal forces cleared using tear gas a day earlier to allow President Donald Trump to have a photo in front of a church.
The U.S. Government plans to use every means possible to bring the protest under control, including the use of force.
“There will be even greater law enforcement resources and support in the region tonight,” Attorney General William Barr said on Tuesday.
Most peaceful demonstrations in previous days have been marred by rioting and looting at night, causing destruction to property and hurting businesses.
Four police officers in St. Louis, Missouri, were reportedly injured by gunshots, as was an officer in Las Vegas, Nevada, during encounters with protesters overnight.
Increase in injuries and Arrests
Many protesters in the U.S have been injured and thousands have been arrested in cities across the country.
Meanwhile, Trump has called on governors to “dominate” the protests and threatened to deploy the armed forces to crack down and end the unrest, while insisting he supports peaceful demonstrations.
“If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the U.S. military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said, as tear gas went off outside the White House on Monday.
Governors in New York, Massachusetts, Michigan and Illinois were among those who have rejected Trump’s push for a heavier hand, as the president seeks to make a show of force and bolster his status as a self-proclaimed leader of law and order.
The National Guard has been deployed to states, by governors, however, largely in a back-up role.
Curfews have also been imposed in cities in California, New York, Washington, and other urban areas, however, due to the lack of transport systems, the protesters have continued to camp in subways with placards bearing inscriptions like: “I can’t breath” and “Justice for Floyd”.
The protests follow the killing of a handcuffed black man, George Floyd by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
An independent autopsy by Floyd’s family has said he died by asphyxiation.
Derek Chauvin has been arrested on charges of third-degree murder, and all four officers involved in the incident in the state of Minnesota were fired.
The killing of Floyd has again raised the issue of police violence and heavy-handed tactics used against African Americans.
The protests across the country have taken place under the “Black Lives Matter” banner, with protesters slamming what they see as systemic racism and biases.