WASHINGTON, June 4. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump said in an interview with Newsmax TV on Wednesday he does not believe that he would have to invoke the Insurrection Act, which allows the US president to use the armed forces to quell unrests.
When asked whether he was ready to send troops to protest-hit US cities, US President Donald Trump said: "It depends, I don't think we'll have to."
If necessary, US President Donald Trump has the authority to invoke the legislation, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters earlier in the day.
"The President has the sole authority to invoke the Insurrection Act. It is definitely a tool within his power. This President has one singular aim, and it is protecting America’s streets," McEnany said.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper earlier opposed the idea, saying that "the option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations." "We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act." he added.
The 1807 bill permits the federal deployment of military force into the states to suppress insurrections. It was last invoked during riots in Los Angeles in 1992.
Widespread unrest has engulfed many US states over the death of an African-American Minneapolis man named George Floyd, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck and choked him to death during his arrest. On May 26, all officers involved in the deadly arrest were fired. On May 29, the policeman in question, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. However, on June 3, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upped the charge against Chauvin to second-degree murder. The three other officers involved in the fatal incident were arrested as well and are now facing charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
To counter the riots, local law enforcement is often supported by the National Guard. So far, 40 cities, including New York, have enacted a curfew.