President Donald Trump on Saturday warned that his government would stop violent protests over police brutality “cold,” blaming the extreme left as thousands began to appear on the streets of major US cities and threatened another night of unrest.
“We cannot and must not allow a small group of criminals and vandals to wreck our cities and lay waste to our communities,” Trump said following another night of widespread looting and arson in Minneapolis.
“My administration will stop mob violence. And we’ll stop it cold,” Trump said.
The US leader said the rioters were dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, the African American who died on Monday after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes and who has become a fresh symbol of police brutality against blacks.
“The violence and vandalism is being led by Antifa and other radical left-wing groups,” Trump said, referring to the loose-knit militant anti-fascist network.
Protesters gather again in Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and other cities, with authorities preparing for another night of violent protests over what African American leaders called “systemic” mistreatment by law enforcement.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called up more national guard troops Saturday and warned they would “decimate” rioters after Friday night’s violence in the northern state overwhelmed law enforcement.
Protests against police brutality spread across America, leading to one of the country´s worst nights of civil unrest in years with police cars and other property set alight and destroyed in New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other cities.
Protestors shouted and chanted for hours outside the White House in Washington on Friday, as Trump sat inside facing the most serious spate of civil unrest of his presidency, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.