Military officials ask citizens for respect amid peaceful protests

The National Guard remains out in force at the Lincoln Memorial and around the nation’s capital.
2:41 | 06/04/20

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Transcript for Military officials ask citizens for respect amid peaceful protests
been breached by protesters. And scathing words from James Mattis about president trump as commander in chief, describing him as a threat to the constitution. And other military leaders in a rare move speaking out, too. Here's Martha Raddatz. Reporter: They are powerful images, the National Guard out in for at the Lincoln memorial with hundreds of fellow citizens peacefully protesting below them on the national mall. The guard, a strong presence throughout the city, on the streets. Facing off in riot gear with those who have served in uniform as well. The military in the united States does not enforce the local population. That's just not how we do it here. Reporter: President trump's photo op and the defense secretary's reference to America's streets as "Battlespace," prompting rare rebukes from two former chairmen of the joint chiefs. "America is not a battleground." . Our fellow citizens are not the enemy. Admiral Mike mullen writing that trump's visit laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces. And tonight, strong messages from leaders currently serving. The Navy's top admiral. I will never know what it feels like when you watch that video of Mr. Floyd's murder. And I can't imagine the pain and the disappointment and the anger that many of you felt when you saw that. Let's get right to Martha, live from the Lincoln memorial. She spoke with former defense secretary Mattis, and he said in a statement, I've watched this week's events angry and appalled. What have you learned talking to him tonight? Reporter: This is a man who did not want to directly attack president trump. He wanted to stay out of politics, which makes this even more remarkable. He told me tonight, enough is he said Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who has not tried to unite the American people. David? Martha, thank you. The death of George Floyd

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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