05:17 GMT04 July 2020
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    Trump Disrupts Peaceful Protest, Using Law Enforcement to Violently Provide Space for Photo-Op

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Nicole Roussell, Sputnik producer and news analyst.

    On Monday night, US President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the White House's Rose Garden, promising to send “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting vandalism and the wanton destruction of property.” Concurrently, at about 6:45 p.m. local time, law enforcement officials acted without warning to disrupt a peaceful protest by sending canisters of tear gas and smoke bombs into the crowd, as well as firing rubber bullets and pepper balls. This caused the crowd to flee and provided the president with his perfect photo-op at St. John's Church near the White House. One of the people who was on the scene is our own journalist Nicole Roussell. She joins us to discuss Monday night's events.

    "Clashes between police and the public intensified Monday night, as largely peaceful daytime protests descended into violence and chaos after dark even with the imposition of widespread curfews and National Guard deployments," the Washington Post reported Tuesday. What’s really going on here?

    Trump's pledge on Monday night to deploy the US military against demonstrators protesting the killing of George Floyd means he’s threatening to employ the Insurrection Act of 1807, which hasn't been invoked since 1992. 

    "The police chief of Louisville, Kentucky, has been fired after officials discovered two police officers involved in [the] fatal shooting of a man during a protest over George Floyd's death had not activated their body cameras," CNN reported Monday. One thing that is very interesting to me is that the spark for the protest is the extrajudicial killing, if not lynching, of Floyd by Minneapolis police. Furthermore, the New York Times reported Saturday that anger over the killing of African-American medical worker Breonna Taylor in Louisville by police "has also been growing, driving tense demonstrations in that city." Police officers in Richmond, Virginia, used tear gas on protesters on Monday night near a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, of all things. In Atlanta, Georgia, officers have also been disciplined for excessive use of force.

    GUESTS:

    Nicole Roussell — Sputnik journalist and news analyst.  

    Dr. Ajamu Baraka — Journalist, American political activist and former Green Party nominee for vice president of the United States in the 2016 election.  

    Margaret Kimberly — editor and senior columnist at Black Agenda Report and author of the book "Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents." 

    Netfa Freeman — Host of Voices With Vision on WPFW 89.3 FM; Pan-Africanist; internationalist organizer intimately involved with political prisoners' causes, from Mumia Abu Jamal to the Cuban Five; and organizer with Family & Friends of Incarcerated People.  

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Tags:
    Minnesota, Kentucky, National Guard, military, police, Trump administration
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