DETROIT (FOX 2) - As protests continue throughout the country against police brutality, Vice President Mike Pence has advocated for them to remain peaceful, while President Donald Trump threatens vicious dogs, high powered weapons, and the U.S. MIlitary to stop the violence.
On Tuesday, the Vice President spoke with FOX 2's Roop Raj in an exclusive interview to discuss the protests.
"We are saddened by the tragic death of George Floyd, as I believe every American was horrified to see that video. As the President said yesterday, we stand by the peaceful protesters in expressing their disdain for what took place on the streets of Minneapolis. But to see people using the backdrop of peaceful protest to engage in rioting, theft, and the kind of violence that has struck law enforcement officers last night in New York and Missouri, that has struck innocent shopkeepers in Texas and elsewhere, it's just inexcusable," Pence said.
The Vice President called the video of George Floyd's death heartbreaking and said the administrations understand the need to protest and to let their voice be heard. He said they stand by peaceful protesters.
But he also reiterated the President's statement on Monday that the National Guard may be necessary to quell some of the protests.
"So the President's message yesterday to our governors was as it's needed, that they are to call up the extraordinary men and women of their National Guard to reinforce their local law enforcement. We simply have got to have law and order on our streets. That's what makes it possible for people to engage in peaceful protest," Pence said. "It's absolutely essential that governors step up and do their jobs and the President made it clear that if governors failed to do that, in any of our major cities around the country that the President will be prepared - as past presidents have done - to deploy active-duty military. But we are going to have law and order on our streets and at the same time we will protect the First Amendment rights of every American."
The Vice President was also complimentary of the City of Detroit's response and how protesters have handled themselves.
"The reports from Detroit, not surprisingly, have been very positive. Detroit is a great community. I saw your Chief of Police on television and the peaceful protesters in Detroit and that community are to be commended," Pence said. "But in cities around the country and we saw it again last night in New York, St. Louis, too often we see peaceful protest ultimately be infiltrated by people that are only there to steal and destroy and to riot and that's why the president called on every governor in the country to use their national guard to restore their order on their streets wherever they need that to happen.."