George Floyd protests: Ex-top general rebukes Trump’s troops threat

(BBC) – Another senior former military officer has denounced President Donald Trump’s threat to use troops to suppress ongoing protests in the US.

The ex-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Gen Martin Dempsey, told National Public Radio that Mr Trump’s remarks were “very troubling” and “dangerous”.

Mr Trump’s current and former defence secretaries have also spoken out.

On Monday, the president threatened to deploy the military to “quickly solve” the unrest if states failed to act.

Mainly peaceful protests have spread across the US since the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody last month.

While demonstrations over Mr Floyd’s death appear to be simmering down in the nation’s capital, the White House’s security perimeter has expanded in recent days.

Police used batons and tear gas to clear protesters from nearby Lafayette Park on Monday, and have since erected high fences around the White House.

Who has criticised the president?

“The idea that the president would take charge of the situation using the military was troubling to me,” Gen Dempsey said in rare public remarks on Thursday.

“The idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests – admittedly, where some had opportunistically turned them violent – and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me,” he added.

Gen Dempsey served as America’s most senior military officer under former US President Barack Obama from 2011-15.

His criticism comes a day after former Marine Gen Jim Mattis, Mr Trump’s former defence secretary, denounced the president, saying he deliberately stoked division.

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