D.C. mayor says she wants out-of-state troops removed from city
The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, is calling for out-of-state military troops to be removed from the nation’s capital after they were brought in to handle the growingly violent protests over the death of George Floyd.
Bowser held a press conference on Thursday to provide an update on coronavirus and to discuss the current unrest in her city.
“The very first thing is we want the military, we want troops from out-of-state out of Washington, D.C.,” said Bowser.
The National Guard was activated to assist the city’s law enforcement with the protests and rolled onto the White House complex and other national landmarks with military trucks and troops. More than 4,500 National Guard members have been deployed to D.C. with several states also sending some of their Guard troops at the request of the Department of Defense.
As of Thursday, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah all had Guard members in the capital city.
So far, no active duty forces have entered the city to respond to the civil unrest. Only the National Guard is present.
Bowser doesn’t have authority over the D.C. National Guard. That command rests with the Secretary of the Army.
Many governors including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have said they’ve sent National Guard troops to help protect national monuments and war memorials. Still, Bowser said she can’t approve of that mission.
“If I wanted troops from Maryland to come into the district, we are a member of a compact, which allows me to make that request specifically to any state National Guard to do that. I have not done that for any state,” Bowser said.
Bowser says that with all the new law enforcement personnel in D.C., residents are having trouble identifying their affiliation. Bowser believes that there are other federal military assets currently active in D.C. She also criticized the new increased security at the White House saying that it’s “the People’s House and it’s been walled off.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also upset with the increase in Guard members from multiple states operating in the capital. She sent a letter to President Donald Trump Thursday expressing her concern and asking for clarity and answers from the administration on the situation.
“Congress and the American people need to know who is in charge, what is the chain of command, what is the mission, and by what authority is the National Guard from other states operating in the capital.”
The streets of D.C. are under the jurisdiction of the local police department, but the area around the White House complex and national monuments falls under federal jurisdiction.
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