U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to send in the National Guard for what he called “THUGS” in Minneapolis as protesters took over and burned a police station at the center of this week’s controversial death of George Floyd. The president appeared to threaten that the guard would use deadly force on the protesters there.
Trump sent the tweet not long after protests that had stretched throughout the day in the Twin Cities turned violent, with protesters setting a number of fires across the city and targeting the 3rd Precinct police station, where the officers involved in Floyd’s death had been stationed.
In the early morning hours on Friday, Trump tweeted a threat to “send in the National Guard” and appeared to vow that they would shoot protesters who continued looting.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump wrote. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Trump’s tweet drew pushback, with many accusing him of using racially charged language to describe the protesters along with apparent threats of violence.
The Minnesota National Guard had already been activated earlier in the day by Walz but were not present as the protests turned violent late on Thursday and into the early morning hours on Friday. As The Inquisitr reported, there was no presence from police or National Guard in the area around the 3rd Precinct building as it was swarmed by protesters who forced their way through barriers and set the building on fire. Reports indicated that police had already abandoned the building.
It was the second straight night of violent protests across the Twin Cities, with many looting stores and setting buildings on fire on Wednesday night. Reports indicated that protests throughout the day on Thursday remained peaceful, but tensions began to rise near nightfall, and crowds gathered near the police station where the four fired officers worked. Fires were first set around the building before protesters breached the barrier around the station itself and set it on fire.
Protesters in Minneapolis and across the country have expressed outrage both at Floyd’s death and the lack of arrests for the officers involved. Though all four officers involved in his arrest were fired a day after the incident and the video of it spread across social media, local authorities have not yet filed charges against any of them.