Pentagon deployed 1,600 troops in Washington area

Units are on high alert but are not involved in supporting civilian authorities, the U.S. defense agency said.

Against the backdrop of days of protests and unrest, the Pentagon has moved some 1,600 troops into an area near the metropolitan area of Colombia. They are stationed at military bases near Washington, DC, but not in the capital itself, Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

He said the troops have been displaced in the past 24 hours from Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Drama, N.Y.. Units are on “high alert,” but “are not involved in defensive support to civilian authorities.

Protests against racism

For more than a week now, protests against racism and police violence have continued in the U.S., and in many cities they have escalated into unrest. On June 2, tens of thousands of people marched peacefully in Houston, where African-American George Floyd, who was strangled by a white police officer, grew up. Demonstrations also continued in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Chicago. Even after curfews, people continued protesting in New York and Washington.

George Floyd died May 25 in Minneapolis after a policeman strangled him with his knee for about nine minutes while in custody. The policeman was arrested and charged with negligent homicide. The tragedy sparked a wave of protests across the country, with demonstrations turning into riots and clashes with police. In many cities, curfews were imposed and the National Guard was activated. U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to engage the army if the governors failed to cope with the riots.

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