President Trump has threatened to deploy the U.S. military if governors refuse to send the National Guard to stop the riots taking place across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd.
According to Fox News, Trump would have to invoke the Insurrection Act in order to get the authority to deploy U.S. troops.
The Insurrection Act, established in 1807, gives the president the power to deploy military troops within the United States in particular circumstances. Suppressing civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion qualify under the Act.
“I am mobilizing all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans,” Trump said to reporters Monday. “Today I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. 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 United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.”
Additionally, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday the White House would establish a command center. The command center will assist state and local governments to put an end to the violent protests.
Trump said justice will be served for Floyd and his family, but added: “we cannot allow the righteous cries and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob.”
“Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Trump said. “I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail.”
Trump has been discussing using violence to stop the protests since they began after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last week. Chauvin killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for almost 9 minutes.