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US Defence Chief Opposes Trump's Use of Rarely-used Insurrection Act to Quell Nationwide Protests

FILE PHOTO: DC National Guard military police officers look on as demonstrators rally near the White House against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: DC National Guard military police officers look on as demonstrators rally near the White House against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper's comments came two days after President Donald Trump said he could do so to call up the army to quash protests.

  • AFP Washington
  • Last Updated: June 3, 2020, 8:15 PM IST
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US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday said he opposed invoking a rarely used law to deploy US military troops to quell nationwide protests over police brutality against African Americans.

"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act," Esper said, two days after President Donald Trump said he could do so to call up the army to quash protests.

"I've always believed and continue to believe that the National Guard is best-suited for performing domestic support to civil authorities in these situations," Esper said.

"The option to use active duty forces should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," he told reporters in the Pentagon.

"We are not in one of those situations now."

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