Across the United States, dangerous rioting has entered a second week, with scenes of violence and destruction continuing to unfold on a nightly basis in cities from coast to coast.
During a press conference in the Rose Garden on Monday, President Donald Trump told reporters that if state governors refuse to bring order to the chaos, he will deploy the United States military to do it for them.
“A police precinct has been overrun,” the Washington Examiner quoted Trump as telling the assembled journalists. “Here in the nation’s capitol the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial have been vandalized.”
“One of our most historic churches was set ablaze, a federal officer in California and an African American enforcement hero was shot and killed,” he added.
Trump pledges action
The president’s latter reference was to Patrick Underwood, a Federal Protective Service officer who was ambushed on Friday night. An assailant opened fire on him as he was monitoring a protest near Oakland’s Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building.
In addition to the 53-year-old Underwood, a fellow law enforcement officer working with him that night was also hit in the attack but managed to survive.
“These are not acts of peaceful protests,” the president went on to say, declaring, “These are acts of domestic terror.” Trump then proceeded to issue an ultimatum.
“If a city or 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.” he declared.
Riots ravage D.C.
Following the briefing, the president made his way across the street to St. John’s Episcopal Church, an historic building located in Lafayette Square that was constructed in the early 19th century.
Trump made the journey on foot while accompanied by multiple members of his administration and security personnel, and upon arriving, he was observed holding a Bible, as Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate WTTG reported.
As the president referenced in his Rose Garden speech, the church was set ablaze Sunday night as rioters went on a rampage through Lafayette Square. In addition to attacking the church that evening, they also targeted U.S. Secret Service personnel, injuring at least 60 of them, according to Fox News.
A statement from the agency quoted by USA Today said that its agents and officers were “physically assaulted as they were kicked, punched, and exposed to bodily fluids.”