Defense Secretary Opposes Trump Threat to Send Military to States amid Protests

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Defense Chief Mark Esper Opposes Using Active-duty Military in George Floyd Protests

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that he was against use of the Insurrection Act, which would allow President Trump to use active-duty military forces for law enforcement duties in containing street protests.

In a press statement, Esper said active-duty troops in a law enforcement role were supposed to be used in the US only in the most urgent and dire of situations.

The discussion about the use of the Insurrection Act came after Trump talked about using the military to quell violent protests in the cities. The president said that deployment of National Guard troops and federal law enforcement officers would stop the violence that accompanied some protests nationwide.

In his remarks, Esper highly criticized the actions of the Minneapolis police, in whose custody George Floyd died after an officer held his knee to the victim’s neck for several minutes.