Massive protests calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality are continuing across the U.S. and around the world.
In Washington, D.C., the largest crowd of protesters yet converged at the White House late Wednesday after a day of peaceful marches throughout the capital. They were met by uniformed National Guard members as well as scores of heavily armed people in riot gear with all insignias and name plates removed from their uniforms.
The unidentified officers repeatedly refused reporters’ demands they identify which agencies they were with — raising comparisons to a paramilitary police force.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Mark Esper broke with Donald Trump and said active-duty military troops should not be deployed to quell the ongoing protests. Esper said: “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.”