Hours after US President Donald Trump threatened to unleash US army on the protesters seeking justice for the death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd, military helicopters, vehicles and personnel, were deployed in Washington DC's streets, on Monday night.
Unhappy with the way violent protests have spread throughout the nation, Trump had threatened to unleash US military to control the raging demonstrations, vandalism, and looting incidents.
As US geared up for the sixth consecutive night of protest demonstrations demanding justice for murdered George Floyd, under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter, Trump's threat came after several cities failed to contain the violent protests.
Protesters removed by the deployed soldiers, choppers
USA Today reported that in a statement issued after Trump's threat of deploying military in the streets, the Department of Justice revealed that Trump had directed Attorney General Wiliam Barr to assist in the restoration of order to the District of Columbia. "Several federal agencies, including the FBI, ATF and DEA, were coordinating to "maximize federal security presence" in DC," the statement read further.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had imposed a citywide curfew for the District for Monday and Tuesday evenings. The curfew hours remain from 7 pm until 6 am the next day.
Dcist reported that police were seen blocking off the areas and confronting protesters who were out despite the curfew. A helicopter flying near the Capital One Arena descended over protesters, coming low enough for its wind to rip branches from trees, reported the outlet.
Earlier, while addressing a press conference at the White House today, a visibly perturbed Trump said that he is mobilizing all federal and local resources, civilian and military, to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans.
"If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," said the President.
DC Bubbles With Rumors of Blackout
Amidst the chaos and deployment of military choppers and personnel to dispel the protesters, stories about a blackout in Washington, spread like wildfire. Rumors about government jamming protesters' phones, stopping them from making calls or protesting online surfaced online.
Using the hashtag #DCblackout, several posts related to Washington experiencing a blackout with electricity, internet and cellular communications were suspended in the early hours of June 1, appeared online.
#DCBlackout This picture is the last we saw before all media was cut at 1 am. An entire city was on fire and suddenly went silent. We have no idea what is happening, we don't know if the protestors are safe. No news channels are covering this. Something awful is going on."
In its tweet, NetBlocks.org, which tracks disruptions and shutdowns of networks, quashed the blackout rumors: "Real-time network data from Washington, DC show no indication of a mass-scale internet disruption overnight or through the last 48 hours. Observable fixed-line and cellular connectivity remain stable at the present time. We continue monitoring#DCBlackout no indication of a mass-scale internet disruption overnight or through the last 48 hours".
Multiple news outlets too, confirmed the rumors to be fake, with DC facing no blackout of any kind.