US President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy military forces following angry protests sparked nationwide by the death of an African-American man at the hands of local police.
The US president also announced the deployment of additional forces in Washington to deal with the turmoil following the death last week of George Floyd.
Protests and clashes continued in several areas, with authorities in the capital, Washington, and New York imposing a travel ban.
Nationwide protests were sparked following Floyd’s death in the Powderhorn community of Minnesota state capital, Minneapolis, at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a white officer with the Minneapolis Police Department.
Floyd’s death sparked anger across the US, and led to mass protests against discriminatory policies and political hypocrisy in the country.
In a speech from the White House on Monday evening, Trump said he would take immediate action to stem the violence, threatening a mobilisation of available military and civilian resources.
He added that military personnel would also be deployed in the troubled regions if state mayors refused to implement the measures required to stop the violence.
Trump noted he would also deploy thousands of heavily armed soldiers and police in Washington to stop the “violence, looting and destruction of property”. He described the protests as “domestic terrorism” rather than peaceful protests.
During his speech, police intervened and arrested a number of protesters around the White House.
Trump vowed that organisers of “chaos” would be punished with prison sentences. He also referred by name to anti-fascist protest movement, “Antifa”, and that his administration is seeking to classify it as a terrorist organisation.
Trump said that the disturbances, in which five people have been killed so far, are a wave of violence, chaos and destruction of property, with groups wanting to create chaos behind the violence.
He vowed to abide by justice and truth, and that Floyd’s death would not be in vain, but stressed that peaceful protests should not be spoiled by violence.
Furthermore, the authorities in Washington announced a two-day curfew amid the increase of angry protests.