A Week of Civil Unrest Puts the United States on Alert
Widespread civil unrest across the country has reached its seventh night. Protests against US police brutality have even broken out in Toronto, Canada; Berlin, Germany; and London, England. In some cities police were seen marching in solidarity with peaceful protesters. In most major cities, however, looting and rioting continued. Law enforcement in rioting cities have taken a more active role in quelling the unrest. Many states have activated their National Guard forces and there is talk of deploying active duty military units to hard hit areas.
Destruction in Los Angeles County prompted CA Governor Gavin Newsom to deploy between 500 and 1,000 National Guard soldiers to the area. Troops were seen patrolling the streets, armed, and in full gear. Looting and rioting also took place in Vallejo and Walnut Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area. Multiple cities in the state have imposed curfews.
In Louisville, KY a man was killed when police and National Guard forces fired into a group of protesters. Authorities claim they were returning fire after being shot at. Protesters claim the man was unarmed and non-violent. The city's police chief was fired after it became clear that officers weren't wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting.
Less than an hour ago, St. Louis PD reported that four of its officers had been struck by gunfire in the downtown area. Their injuries seem to be non-life threatening. Officers are still taking fire in downtown.
The situation in Washington DC has been quickly deteriorating. President Donald Trump spoke from the rose garden today just minutes after protesters around the White House were cleared by law enforcement. In his address he said that governors needed to take control of the situation in their states or he would authorize military deployments in major cities. He specifically threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act, which gives the President the ability to authorize such deployments of the military to quell civil unrest. The Department of Justice has deployed all local and available assets to the DC area to assist police in the area. This includes tactical teams from the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, ATF, and the Bureau of Prisons. Intelligence and reconnaissance aircraft from CBP and the FBI were also seen in the area. The DC National Guard has been fully mobilized and deployed to government buildings in the capital. The situation around the White House last night prompted the Secret Service to move the President into an underground bunker.
Active duty military deployments already appear to be in motion. Detachments from the 82nd Airborne Division's Immediate Response Force are en route to Washington DC. The IRF was deployed early this year to the Middle East due to rising tensions with, and military action against, Iran. Also en route to DC is a US Army military police battalion. Multiple military transport aircraft have arrived to Andrews Air Force Base. There is some speculation that the Army's 10th Mountain & 1st Infantry Divisions have been deployed (they were already on an alert status). This has not been confirmed yet.
The situation is rapidly escalating nationwide.
Stay safe and have a good one,