Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said Sunday that deploying the military domestically to respond to the protests sparked by George Floyd’s death would negatively affect its relationship with the American people.
Dempsey told ABC’s “This Week” that he decided to speak up against President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE’s threats to send out the military because he thought “it was appropriate for me to point out the risk of doing it.”
“I thought that given the state of the unrest and the risk that we would put the active duty military in a position where its relationship with the American people would be adversely affected that I should say so,” he said.
Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey says he decided to speak out against Trump threat to use military in response to protests because it “would put the active duty military in a position where its relationship with the American people would be adversely affected.” https://t.co/mxYatg1sjy pic.twitter.com/aJnOzuLQe5— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 7, 2020
Dempsey pointed out it took decades to try to “rebuild” the military’s relationship with the American people after the Vietnam War.
“It took us a while to actually regain the trust of the American people,” he said, adding, “And we have a wonderful relationship with the people in this country, and I thought it important to continue to work to try to keep that.”
The former Joint Chiefs chairman joined with other retired generals who have slammed Trump for threatening to deploy the military to quell the protests that have raged across the U.S. for more than a week.
Last week, Trump announced he would activate the military to respond to demonstrations in Washington, D.C. He also encouraged governors across the country to send their National Guards, threatening to deploy the military to other cities if they did not.
Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, sparking protests across the country against police brutality and racial inequality.