Violence erupts at US protests after Trump vows to bring in militaryArchive
President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to use the US military to halt protests over the death of a black man in police custody, before law enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas to clear demonstrators and allow the president to walk to a church and pose for pictures.
But as darkness fell hours after the president’s remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House, violence erupted for a seventh night. Demonstrators set fire to a strip mall in Los Angeles and looted stores in New York City.
“Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled,” Trump said. “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.”
Following his address Trump walked from the White House through the area that had been cleared for him to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he clutched a Bible as he posed for pictures with his daughter, Ivanka, and US Attorney General William Barr.
The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church diocese in Washington DC, Michale Curry, was among those who criticised Trump’s use of the historic church for a photo opportunity.
“In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes,” he said on Twitter. The church suffered minor fire damage during protests on Monday night.