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Trump threatens use of military force to put out ‘riots’

US President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the ongoing protests over racial inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, June 1, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

President Trump threatened use of military force on Monday to “stop the violence and restore security and safety in America”.

Trump said he has “strongly recommended” to every governor to deploy the National Guard in “sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.”

He said mayors and governors must establish an “overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.” If the city or state refuses to take the actions, Trump said he would deploy the US military.

“I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them. I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capitol, Washington, DC. What happened in this city last night was a total disgrace,” he said.

He added: “Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail.”

Protesters gather outside the New York Police Department at Times Square in New York City on Sunday. It was the sixth day of protests and violent unrest, sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody. WANG YING/XINHUA

What you need to know about the protests

– Protests enter seventh day across the US, including fires, violence near White House.

– The nationwide unrest started on Memorial Day, May 25, when George Floyd, 46, died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes

– At least 40 cities in more than 20 US states and Washington DC have imposed curfews.

– An independent autopsy found Floyd died from “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” while the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found “no physical findings” to “support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

– Trump has created controversy by calling protesters “thugs”.

– National Guard members have been activated in at least 23 states and Washington DC.

– The officer who pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder, but protesters are demanding the other three officers at the scene be prosecuted.

Protesters rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, May 31, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

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