Pentagon has deployed 1,600 troops to positions outside U.S. capital
Updated: 2020-06-03 17:12:35 KST
The Pentagon spokesman Johnathan Hoffman said in a statement Tuesday, local time, that more than 16-hundred active duty troops have been moved to the Washington, D.C. area but are not in the city and are on heightened alert.
Before the announcement, the governors of Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware all turned down requests from the Defense Department to deploy National Guard troops to the capital.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been threatening to use the military to quell the George Floyd protests, some of which have turned violent, if state governors can't stop the riots themselves.
"If a city or a 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."
The comment has spurred a debate over the legality of using the military on American soil.
The National Guard can be used by state governors for law enforcement, but the president cannot deploy federal troops for that purpose unless he invokes the Insurrection Act of 1807.
"What the [Insurrection] acts do is they give the president the power, in fairly broad, sweeping terms, to call out the U.S. military, or to federalize the National Guard in the states, to enforce federal law when state authorities appear unable to enforce federal law effectively in their jurisdictions."
The statute was last activated in 1992 after riots erupted over the acquittal of four LA police officers for their beating of Rodney King, an African-American.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.