As police officers used tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets on the chanting George Floyd protestors in Washington, D.C., demonstrating against racial police violence, President Donald Trump criticizes local officials’ efforts to keep the demonstrations at bay and threatens to use military force, while saying “America needs creation, not destruction.”

“If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said. He threatened to use the Insurrection Act of 1807, which allows the President of the United States to legally use active military force in civil conflicts. The last time the act was used was in 1992 after the Rodney King protests in Los Angeles, which similarly followed racial police violence.

In his Rose Garden appearance, Trump said the meaning of the peaceful protests could be diminished by the “angry mob.” After spending Sunday evening in the emergency White House bunker, Trump promised to protect and fight for the American citizens.

As the protests grew more violent and looting took place in different cities, Trump announced he was “dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers” to suppress the crowd.

Nationwide protesters inflamed after George Floyd’s death, which came at the hands of white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, who pinned his neck down with a knee. Chauvin was since charged with third-degree murd after the protestors in Minneapolis burned down a police precinct.

“Please, I can’t breathe,” Floyd said as Chaivin pinned him down. “My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts.” The words later echoed in the streets all over different cities in multiple states, as the protestors chanted them while demonstrating against racism and racial police violence.

In his Rose Garden speech, Trump blamed the growing outrage across the nation on “professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, and rioters,” also mentioning Antifa, which is a far-left anti-fascist activist group.

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