Trump says military could respond quickly to Minneapolis unrest

Brenda Watkins
May 30, 2020

President Donald Trump's early Saturday tweetstorm took an oddly aggressive position, as the nation's cities continued to erupt in protest over the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd earlier this week while in police custody.

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked protests in several cities, some which have turned violent.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military had ordered some active-duty Army military police officers to be prepared to deploy if local authorities requested their help. (AAP/TANNEN MAURY) Young men stand atop a burning auto in the Target parking lot E. Lake St. during a third night of unrest following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

He said he spoke to the state's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, and "told him that the Military is with him all the way". Trump's comments were censored by Twitter early Friday for allegedly inciting violence.

In a tweet sent late Thursday night, Trump called the protesters "thugs" who are "dishonouring the memory of George Floyd", adding, "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts". In the speech, Headley said his department had been successful "because I've let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts". However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.

Protests took place in other USA cities, including Louisville, Kentucky, where police said seven people were shot. With Twitter already having dared to check Trump's supposedly "personal" account, the administration was challenging it to hide a tweet by the official account of the executive branch of the federal government.

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The president said that he conveyed his sympathy to the family. Trump has never apologised, telling reporters previous year: "You have people on both sides of that".

Video of the encounter was viewed millions of times online, and Garner's dying words, "I can't breathe", became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

At some point, the protests in Minneapolis went wild, with citizens vandalising and smashing police cars and other municipal property, stealing from businesses, and even committing arson.

The outpouring comes as the Trump campaign has sought to chip into the advantage Democrats have with black voters.

Four police officers involved in Floyd's death have been fired and the FBI is investigating.

In a series of tweets, Twitter's communications team said the language "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" ran afoul of their policies against promoting and glorifying violence "based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today".

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