Donald Trump has threatened to deploy military force to quell unrest across the US, as protests and riots continue over police brutality.
The president accused rioters of “domestic terror” and said if state governors did not deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers, the US military would step in.
Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, he declared: “Mayors and governors must establish an overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled.
“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.”
Mr Trump’s statement came after police under federal command used tear gas to force back peaceful demonstrators in Washington DC so that he could walk to a nearby church and pose with a bible.
As the Republican leader spoke, tear gas canisters could be heard exploding.
America has been engulfed in civil unrest for the past week, after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after being pinned to the pavement by a white police officer who put his knee his neck until he stopped breathing.
More than 5,600 people are estimated to have been arrested since the protests began and many cities across the country have imposed night time curfews to try to stem the violence.
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