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President Trump has reportedly requested that military police be at the ready to go to Minnesota in a move that was described as a “significant escalation” in response to days of violent unrest.
Sources told Fox News that the Army was reportedly directed by the Pentagon to ready active-duty U.S. military police units following a request by the president who was seeking some military options from Defense Secretary Mark Esper that could be made available to deal with the chaotic protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd.
Three sources with knowledge of the orders informed Fox News that four-hour “get-ready” orders have allegedly been issued to military units in Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York while a 24-hour notice has been given to soldiers from Fort Carson in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas.
”When the White House asks for options, someone opens the drawer and pulls them out so to speak.” a senior Pentagon official, who was reportedly on an Oval Office call between the president and others, including Esper and National Security Adviser Robert O’ Brien, told Fox News, explaining that the move is authorized by the Insurrection Act of 1807.
But the White House director of strategic communications, Alyssa Farah, dismissed the deployment information as “false,” saying in an email that orders to send active-duty military police to Minneapolis are “not under discussion.” However, official sources explained to Fox News that the orders are on a classified system, known as the Secret Internet Protocol Router.
According to Fox News:
Members of the police units were on a 30-minute recall alert early Saturday, meaning they would have to return to their bases inside that time limit in preparation for deployment to Minneapolis inside of four hours. Units at Fort Drum are slated to head to Minneapolis first, according to the three people, including two Defense Department officials. Roughly 800 U.S. soldiers would deploy to the city if called.
Nearly two hundred businesses in the city have been damaged or completely destroyed as protests escalated and turned into uncontrolled looting, arson and general lawlessness with little to no police presence in many of the hardest-hit areas. Despite the fact that Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered 500 National Guard troops into Minneapolis, St. Paul, and an 8 p.m. curfew was ordered by Mayor Jacob Frey, sections of the communities were filled with people, fires continued to be set and burn out of control and the looting of stores was ongoing.
Fox News reporter Mike Tobin explained that law enforcement had been seen earlier in the day but by dark, there appeared to be no police or National Guard presence for many city blocks.
(Source: Fox News)
“Mike, we all saw the extensive press conference today with a number of different authorities including the Major General who oversees the Minnesota National Guard,” Fox News anchor Shannon Bream said during coverage Friday. “And everyone talked through what their role was going to be and the fact that they would be out there local time 8 PM curfew… What are you seeing with respect to any National Guard anywhere near to where you are?”
“Ever since about 45 minutes after they gave that warning over that loudspeaker we saw them back up to the area of the bridge at… Highway 55,” Tobin recounted.
“They seemed to form up. The crowds got thick. The smoke got thick and at some point, all the National Guard vehicles and all the personnel that I could see were just gone,” he reported. “So it’s another night of anarchy another night of mob rules the street.”
Though Walz had ordered the National Guard troops to be deployed in the state, he reportedly did not ask for any Army intervention, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
“The Department has been in touch with the Governor and there is no request for Title 10 forces to support the Minnesota National Guard or state law enforcement,” the spokesman told Fox News.
Earlier Friday, the president had tweeted that the National Guard had arrived in Minnesota.
The National Guard has arrived on the scene. They are in Minneapolis and fully prepared. George Floyd will not have died in vain. Respect his memory!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
But another night of what seemed like uncontrolled unrest and property damage in the city sparked questions about the lack of authority and reports that a military presence could be deployed to restore order.
“If this is where the president is headed response-wise, it would represent a significant escalation,” Washington D.C.-based attorney Brad Moss told Fox News, “and a determination that the various state and local authorities are not up to the task of responding to the growing unrest.”
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