'It sends a strong message': Former intelligence officer explains the role of military troops amid protests

A former intelligence officer says the presence of military troops help law enforcement restore law and order when peaceful protests turned violent.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020
'It sends a strong message': The role military plays amid protests
Former intelligence officer and ABC7 contributor Hal Kempfer discusses the role of military troops amid peaceful protests turned violent.

As we saw over the weekend, protests gave way to looters and violence. Retired Marine Corps Intelligence Officer and ABC7 contributor Hal Kempfer joined ABC7 via Skype to discuss the recent events.

The role of military troops amid protests

"When you see troops with the vehicles, the uniforms, the weapons - obviously makes people very uneasy. It sends a strong message of we're going to restore law and order. Basically public safety on the streets - using one of our most powerful tools that we have which is our military," said Kempfer.

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He says the troops are used to augment law enforcement and security missions. Having the troops on-hand allows law enforcement to focus on other necessary operations amid the peaceful protests turning violent and criminal.

What tactics should law enforcement use to de-escalate situations?

"There's a lot of back-and-forth communication. For example, they will find who are the informal leaders within any protest group or any grouping. And they will try to establish some sort of communication with them, some sort of rapport. Again, law enforcement is there too respect and protect the protesters. Protecting their First Amendment right," said Kempfer.

Kempfer says the troops are trained for situations such as the unrest that unfolded over the weekend.

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