Military police secure a perimeter near to the White House, Wednesday, June 3, 2020 in Washington, during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes.
When President Trump suggested the use of active military forces to quell the violence that has erupted in some cities the past two weeks, it raised questions about the legal role of the military.
The military has unique capabilities that can be used, under certain circumstances, to support civilian law enforcement. Missions like counter-drug operations, disaster assistance, or search and rescue operations are areas where the military has historically assisted local authorities.
There are other circumstances when state law enforcement and government leaders might request military support, but those events are infrequent and some say unconstitutional.
Joining Smart Talk on Friday is Professor Bert Tussing, retired Marine Corps Lt. Col., and instructor at the US Army War College, who will talk about the laws that govern military involvement in domestic law enforcement. We will also revisit historic events when military support was used.