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Politics After George Floyd’s death, Trump administration told military’s service chiefs to remain quiet about unrest

02:55  03 june  2020
02:55  03 june  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Trump expects 'full report' on death of George Floyd

  Trump expects 'full report' on death of George Floyd President Trump on Wednesday described the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody as a "very sad event" and said he expects a "full report" when he returns to Washington. "We're going to look at it, and we're going to get a report tomorrow when we get back," Trump told reporters while touring the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., when asked whether the police officers involved in the death should be prosecuted. "We're"We're going to look at it, and we're going to get a report tomorrow when we get back," Trump told reporters while touring the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., when asked whether the police officers involved in the death should be prosecuted.

President Donald Trump has threatened to send in the military to quell growing civil unrest in the US over the Protests over the death of George Floyd have escalated over the past week. Police chief Colonel John Hayden Junior told reporters "some coward fired shots at officers and now we have four

George Floyd protests: can Trump deploy federal troops on to the streets in the US? “You can’t tell the president anything because he won’t listen and, even if he pretends to listen, he’ll just go Earlier in his presidency, Trump was surrounded by military figures, including chief of staff John Kelly and

A week after the killing of George Floyd, the Air Force’s top enlisted member took to Twitter to say that he too is a black man, “who happens to be Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force,” and could die the same way.

Donald Trump et al. standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie: President Trump walks with Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others from the White House to visit St. John's Church on June 1. © Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images President Trump walks with Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others from the White House to visit St. John's Church on June 1.

“I am George Floyd . . . I am Philando Castile, I am Michael Brown, I am Alton Sterling, I am Tamir Rice,” wrote Kaleth O. Wright, naming other black Americans killed by police. “Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks . . . I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes.”

Obama: Racism must never be "normal" in the USA

 Obama: Racism must never be © RHONA WISE After the death of 46-year-old African American George Floyd due to the brutal behavior of white police officers, former US President Barack Obama has now spoken out. Racism should never be "normal" in the US, he said. Former US President Barack Obama was shocked at the death of African American George Floyd by the brutal crackdown on white officers. Racism should never be "normal" in the US, Obama said on Friday. "This shouldn't be 'normal' in America in 2020.

Floyd ’ s death sparked hundreds of protests against police brutality in cities across the US, many of which were peaceful, while others dissolved into violence and looting. The National Guard has been activated in multiple states to curb the protests, while curfews have been issued in a number of cities

A military deployment by Mr Trump to US states would mark a stunning federal intervention rarely seen in modern American history. Mr Floyd died last week after he was pinned to the pavement by a white police officer who put his knee on the handcuffed black man’ s neck until he stopped breathing.

The response on Monday evening went viral, with veterans and service members alike commenting on its rawness and candor. But it also was cast into stark relief as most senior military officials remained silent on Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis after being handcuffed and nationwide protests that have followed.

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At least twice in the last week, senior Trump administration officials in the Defense Department directed service chiefs to kept quiet on the issue, even though some expressed an interest in responding to a painful moment in the nation, said three defense officials with familiarity with the discussion. 

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Live Updates on George Floyd Protests: Tumult Grips U. S . Cities. Amid swelling protests marred by violence and looting, President Trump threatened to Here’ s what you need to know: After a week of unrest , Trump threatens to deploy the military on U. S . streets. Police officers are injured by gunfire

Protests over the death of George Floyd continued overnight, shortly after President Donald Trump threatened to bring in the military if states and Trump , who has condemned the killing of Floyd , angered many as he posed with a bible outside a church shortly after law enforcement officials had

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper wanted to address the issue first. More than a week later, he has not done so publicly.

“I think there is a question about how and when, and at what level, the department should weigh into what has become a highly charged emotional and political issue,” a senior defense official said.

The directive came as President Trump increasingly reaches for the military as a tool of choice to quell unrest, and Esper seeks to shield the Pentagon from politics and keep the Pentagon from appearing at odds with its commander in chief, who has called people involved in rioting “thugs.”

The Pentagon is also wrestling with questions about how its own insensitivity, including a desire to keep numerous Army bases across southern states named after Confederate generals.

Dozens protest at U.S. embassy in Paris in solidarity with George Floyd

  Dozens protest at U.S. embassy in Paris in solidarity with George Floyd Dozens protest at U.S. embassy in Paris in solidarity with George Floyd , an African-American whose death in police custody last week has sparked unrest in the United States. © Reuters/CHRISTIAN HARTMANN Protest against the death of George Floyd, in Paris Most dressed in black and wearing face masks due to the coronavirus crisis, the demonstrators held signs saying: "Racism is choking us," "Justice for Floyd" and "I can't breathe" -- the last words Floyd gasped as a white officer knelt on his neck.

Just after Mr. Trump concluded his speech, military police from the National Guard clad in camouflage and riot Competing autopsies say Floyd ’ s death was a homicide, but differ on causes. On Monday afternoon, Terrence Floyd became the first member of George Floyd ’ s family to visit the place where

George Floyd ’ s brother has arrived at the site of his brother’ s death , where Minneapolis residents have Floyd ’ s brother implored the protesters to remain peaceful, insisting his late brother would not have Trump told governors they need to “dominate” the activists who are protesting the killing of

On Tuesday night, the Trump administration again dispatched National Guard troops across Washington to complement police. The military forces participated in the operation after law enforcement authorities deployed pepper spray and other nonlethal weapons against protesters outside the White House, and National Guard helicopters hovered in numerous locations at rooftop level, in an apparent attempt to disperse crowds with sustained, gusty rotor wash.

Wright’s Twitter thread was posted shortly before authorities began dispersing crowds in Washington on Monday and Trump announced he was expanding the military’s role in the response. Wright told the service’s top officer, Gen. David L. Goldfein, what he wanted to do first, and Goldfein supported it, one defense official said.

The general also released a memo to commanders internally on Monday calling Floyd's death a “national tragedy” and stating that “every American should be outraged” by the police conduct demonstrated in the case.

Goldfein wrote that while “we all wish it were not possible for racism to occur in America,” commanders need to confront it, according to the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post.

After the death of George Floyd, this Florida sheriff urges residents to shoot looters

 After the death of George Floyd, this Florida sheriff urges residents to shoot looters © Copyright 2020, L'Obs After seeing rumors on social networks that demonstrators intended to cause incidents In Polk County, Grady Judd, the Florida sheriff, urged residents to shoot the looters who broke into their homes. > See the extract from his speech A shocking statement that does not recall Donald Trump's reaction on Twitter after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, asphyxiated by a white police officer during a control.

President Trump on Monday suggested he would use federal troops to end unrest that erupted following the death of George Floyd , an To deploy the armed forces, Trump would need to formally invoke a group of statutes known as the Insurrection Act of 1807. The act permits the president to

Trump told governors that if they don’ take back the streets and use force to confront protesters The call followed nights of unrest and mass protests in cities across the country over the death of George Floyd ’ s death at hands of a police officer triggered protest in Minneapolis and other cities in

“As the Air Force’s leadership, we reflect on and acknowledge that what happens on America’s streets is also resident in our Air Force,” Goldfein wrote. “Sometimes it’s explicit, sometimes it’s subtle, but we are not immune to the spectrum of racial prejudice, systemic discrimination, and unconscious bias.”

The Navy’s top enlisted sailor, Russell Smith, also addressed the unrest, writing in a message online that “the tragic headlines and subsequent turbulent events” affects “every citizen of our great Nation.”

“As Sailors, we cannot tolerate discrimination of any kind,” Smith wrote. “We must actively speak out and work to fight it, as it works against the very tenets of ‘team’ that make us successful in combat.”

A handful of other generals also have addressed the unrest, including Lt. Gen. James Slife, the commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.

“I’m bothered by the events in Minneapolis and what it means about our society,” Slife wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “And our Air Force is a reflection of our society, so, by extension, this is an Air Force issue. We’d be naive to think issues of institutional racism and unconscious bias don’t affect us. We can’t ignore it. We have to face it. And to face it, we have to talk about it.”

But the chiefs mostly have not. Asked why on Monday night, military officials either declined to comment or referred questions to the defense secretary’s office.

Floyd killing shows 'true face' of US: Iran's Khamenei

  Floyd killing shows 'true face' of US: Iran's Khamenei The police killing of unarmed African-American George Floyd shows the "true face" of the United States and its oppression of the peoples of the world, including its own, Iran's supreme leader said Wednesday. "The fact that a policeman has cold-bloodedly pressed his knee on the throat of a black man until he died and that other policemen watched on without doing anything is nothing knew," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech.

In a video released Tuesday night, Goldfein and Wright discuss the unrest, with Wright saying he worries if he will be safe if he is pulled over by police and Goldfein sharing that he realized he “probably doesn’t completely understand.”

“I’ve been really outraged for not just the last week,” Wright said. “It drew up a lot of rage and a lot of anger from the past because I’ve just watched this over and over and over again.”

The posture stood in contrast to 2017, when each of the chiefs condemned violence and racism that was on display by white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville while the Pentagon was run by former defense secretary James Mattis.

The Pentagon has struggled to reflect America’s diversity at its highest levels. While 43 percent of the military’s 1.3 million active-duty members are people of color, only two of the about 40 four-star officers are black.

Eric Flowers, a recently retired Army colonel, said that when the Pentagon doesn’t express outrage over something like the manner in which Floyd died, there “kind of is an unspoken message” to potential service members of color that they are not recognized.

“We miss an opportunity by not providing some type of solidarity through comments,” said Flowers, who is black. “We miss an opportunity when we do not reassert that this is not the America that we are asking people to fight for and support.”

Dana Pittard, a retired two-star Army general, said he doesn’t believe that the service chiefs will follow any unlawful orders in the response to the unrest. But he said he is not surprised to hear about political concerns among Defense Department appointees.

All 4 Ex-Officers Charged in George Floyd Killing

  All 4 Ex-Officers Charged in George Floyd Killing All four former Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal arrest of George Floyd have now been charged with murder, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has taken over the case, said on Wednesday. Three of the officers involved were charged with aiding and abetting a second-degree murder. The charges against the officer who choked Floyd for nearly nine minutes were also raised from third-degree murder to second-degree murder. "I"I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr.

“I hate to use the term ultra-loyalist, but they’re appointees,” said Pittard, who is black. “They’re not going to stray very far from the president.”

Pittard said he wishes that Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had not participated in a photo opportunity Monday in which Trump visited St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is near the White House, after police dispersed the crowd with rubber bullets and other weapons. Milley, dressed in his camouflage uniform, and Esper were among the officials who walked with the president to the house of worship, which has been partially burned during protests.

“It was just a bad optic for the military to be there at all,” Pittard said.

Esper and Milley went with Trump to the church believing that they were going to see some of their troops, said a senior defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. They did so afterward.

Kyle Bibby, a former Marine captain, said he has been disappointed by the silence of senior military officials after Floyd’s death, especially in light of reports of white nationalism in the military.

“Condemning racism and police brutality is not really a partisan issue, right?” said Bibby, who is black and now works on social-justice issues for Common Defense, a progressive veterans group.

“The generals and admirals, they can’t put their heads in the sand,” he said. “They’re leaders, and they’re responsible for one of the most important institutions in this country.”

Atlanta mayor 'simply disgusted' by Trump using George Floyd's name .
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) said Sunday she was "simply disgusted" by President Trump invoking George Floyd's name Friday as he declared it a "great day for equality" while announcing a report that showed unemployment rates falling. "I think if the president is going to say anything it may have been more appropriate to talk about his family, and perhaps him looking down on his children, and perhaps him being proud of the movement that's happening in this country," Bottoms said Sunday on CNN.

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