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DC police refuse to say why more people weren’t arrested during civil unrest over the weekend

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

The Metropolitan Police Department refused to say why only 25 arrests were made for curfew violations, riot-related burglary, or other riot-related events over the weekend despite multiple violent disputes caught on video.

President Donald Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed during and after the “Millions MAGA March” on Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C., videos show. In one instance, a Trump supporter was allegedly pushed to the ground and robbed by counter-protesters as he was attempting to leave Black Lives Matter Plaza on Saturday night, though police did not appear to intervene, video shows.

As the man tried to pick up his bike, a counter-protester said, “you better get out of here motherfucker” and “what the fuck did you think was going to happen,” video shows. Counter-protesters followed him chanting “Black Lives Matter” while throwing liquid at the man.

“Particularly on Saturday I was very impressed with the way that the Metropolitan Police Department was able to prevent more conflicts than we did have, that was actually quite remarkable,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said in a press conference Monday. “Not sure another agency in the country could have handled that.”

An alleged Trump supporter shoved multiple counter-protesters to the ground before he was kicked and punched in the face by other counter-protesters on Saturday video shows.

In one instance, counter-protesters threw liquids and objects at a Trump-supporting couple as they walked through Black Lives Matter Plaza on Saturday night, video shows. In another instance, a counter-protester punched a Trump supporter in the back of the head as she was walking away from the group, video shows.

MPD officers formed a line of officers in an effort to keep Trump supporters and counter-protesters from interacting in Black Lives Matter Plaza, video shows. A Trump supporter crossed the line to get to the Hay-Adams hotel and was attacked by a crowd of counter-protesters multiple times.

“We will not go down without a fight, we will not go down without bloodshed,” an alleged Trump supporter told a crowd, video shows. “I don’t care if the media can take what I say and say that I’m violent, I don’t care, Antifa and Black Lives Matter brought us to this point. If they want a fight, then they’ve got one.” 

Metropolitan police officers recovered eight firearms during arrests, Newsham said. Seven of the firearms were handguns, and another was described as a “very unique” cross between a handgun and an assault rifle. Three of the individuals were arrested for open carrying a firearm.

“Men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department went out there, put themselves in harm’s way to ensure that our city was safe, I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Newsham said.

D.C. Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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