US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday slammed Donald Trump for “using the American military against the American people,” after the president vowed to order an army crackdown on sweeping civil unrest gripping the United States.

Taking to Twitter, Biden said, “He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets. For a photo, while referring to Trump’s decision to use law enforcement — including military police — to clear protesters from in front of the White House so he could pose for photographs at a riot-damaged church nearby.

“For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him,” Biden further posted.

On Sunday, Biden visited the scene of an anti-racism protest in the state of Delaware and said that the United States was “in pain”.

As the protests turned violent in Washington DC with agitated people throwing bricks and bottles and shouting curses at Trump, the “Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Minnesota, after death of 46-year-old George Floyd who was arrested on on suspicion of using a counterfeit banknote last Monday.

Floyd was unarmed and handcuffed, continuously pleaded that he could not breathe. He was soon after declared dead at a nearby hospital.

Last week, demonstrators clashed with law enforcement, looted stores and set fire to shops and a construction site. They were met with police tear gas and rubber bullets.

Earlier, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden condemned the incident, saying “We have to ensure that the Floyd family receive the justice they are entitled to”.

The case was seen as the latest example of police brutality against African Americans, which gave rise six years ago to the Black Lives Matter movement.