Sen. Tom Cotton on Monday urged President Trump to invoke a rarely used law from the 1800s that would deploy active-duty troops in the U.S. cities in the wake of the riots and protests over the death of George Floyd.
The Arkansas Republican called on the president to use the Insurrection Act, a law passed in 1807 that authorizes the use of the U.S. military on American soil.
It was last invoked in 1992 when the California governor had requested the military respond to riots in Los Angeles.
“If necessary, the president should use the Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military forces to these cities to support our local law enforcement and ensure that this violence ends tonight, not one more night,” Mr. Cotton said in a Fox News interview.
“If local law enforcement is overwhelmed, let’s see how these anarchists respond when the 101st Airborne is on the other side of the street,” he continued.
Rioting and looting have plagued major cities in response to the death of Floyd, a Minnesota man who was killed while in police custody. A video captured last week, shows a white police officer putting his knee on the neck of Floyd, a black man. Floyd can be heard in the video saying he can’t breathe.
The National Guard has been called up to assist the police in restoring order, but some have called for a stronger response as the violence escalates.