Instead of listening to the Black Lives Matter protests around America, Trump seems more interested in waging war against them.
In classic Trump fashion, the US president has vilified all protests surrounding George Floyd and BLM. Despite having no evidence connecting recent rises in violent crime to anti-police brutality movements, Trump and Attorney General William Barr have connected the two.
Trump has allocated $US61million to sending federal law-enforcement officials to Chicago and other US cities to crack down on violent crimes.
Titling the ‘surge’ Operation Legend, Trump says the additional police force will “answer the pleas of those crying for justice and crying for help across the country”.
It sounds noble, sure, but this political spin makes peaceful protests sound as bad as COVID-19. After all, this is the guy who falsely claimed more white people are killed by police than black people.
More officials isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this announcement feels like a coordinated attack on democratic cities more than anything else. Trump is sending out these officials to Kansas, Missouri, Chicago, and Albuquerque to “vigorously charge federal crimes”.
Trump’s Operation Legend is going to send federal troops to Albuquerque & Chicago, against the wishes of these cities’ mayors. This is what happens in dictatorships. All this is going to do is cause more protests and riots. Trump knows this. It’s a political tool. #GestapoTrump
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) July 22, 2020
US Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden have expressed some reasonable concerns about this targeted increase in paramilitary force.
“First, they are deploying paramilitary forces with no identification indicating who they are or who they work for. Second, these agents are snatching people off the street with no underlying justification”. Having no way to identify these officials means illegitimate actions will be impossible to trace back to officials.