Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has ordered a review of the National Guard’s response to the protests that have begun in the United States following the death of African-American George Floyd.
A statement from the US State Department said Esper would analyze “the National Guard’s recent efforts to assist law enforcement in increasing civil discontent”. Questions have been raised about the role of the National Guard in dispersing anti-racism protests that erupted after Floyd’s death on March 25 while he was in police custody.
The engagement of National Guard troops to support law enforcement officials in a square near the White House on July 1 had provoked strong reactions. Protesters had fled the area through pepper spray and rubber bullets before US President Donald Trump walked to a nearby historic church.