US Defence Secretary opposes use of Insurrection Act
US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper has told a Pentagon press briefing that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807. Doing so would allow the military to be mobilised across the US to provide assistance to law enforcement in tackling civil unrest.
Esper said on 3 June that: ‘The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations… We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’.
This suggests that it is unlikely that US military personnel will end up patrolling US cities alongside law enforcement, despite comments made by President Donald Trump on 1 June.
The law was most recently used in 2005 when troopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were deployed to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
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