President Donald Trump has responded to days of protests against police brutality around the United States by calling for more brutality against demonstrators. He’s even threatened to send in active-duty members of the military to confront protesters around the United States, and although those proposed nationwide deployments have failed to materialize — at least in part, it seems, because of opposition from local authorities — armed security personnel have already been deployed in D.C. According to eyewitness testimony, at least some of these government security personnel would not even identify what group they were actually with, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is demanding answers.
In a letter that Pelosi sent this week to President Donald Trump himself, the Democratic leader requested “a full list of the agencies involved and clarifications of the roles and responsibilities of the troops and federal law enforcement resources operating in the city,” in reference to the many security forces who have been seen in D.C. Some of these forces have even attacked protesters, like on the occasion of the president’s recent photo op at a local church, when cops attacked peaceful protesters and cleared the way for the so-called president.
‘We are concerned about the increased militarization and lack of clarity that may increase chaos… 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… As peaceful people all over the country turn out to honor the memory of George Floyd and protest for change, we must ensure that their safety and their constitutional rights are being respected.’
Pelosi: "I am writing to request a full list of the agencies involved and clarifications of the roles and responsibilities of the troops and federal law enforcement resources operating in the city. Congress and the American people need to know." https://t.co/M3wRGuhAuy
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 4, 2020
Besides the members of the National Guard from outside D.C. who have dubiously showed up in the capital, Pelosi also notes that observers have seen “soldiers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial… Bureau of Prisons officers in Lafayette Square… [and] National Park Service officers hassling peaceful protestors.” Why on earth does the federal government feel the need to dispatch officers from federal prisons out onto the streets of D.C. to confront peaceful demonstrators?
— Eli Clifton (@EliClifton) June 2, 2020
It’s not the only violence — there’s even been a so-called “show of force” from a military helicopter that flew barely 100 feet above demonstrators as if D.C. was suddenly a war zone.
PELOSI: "Soldiers on steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Bureau of Prisons officers in Lafayette Square. The National Parks Service hassling peaceful protesters… who's in charge? What's chain of command & by what authority do these National Guard people come in from other states?" pic.twitter.com/mGp8sjREZk
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 4, 2020
Pelosi wants answers — although an explanation for what’s going on shouldn’t need to be requested, in the first place. The House Speaker notes that “officers operating with full anonymity undermines accountability, ignites government distrust and suspicion, and is counter to the principle of procedural justice and legitimacy during this precarious moment in our nation’s history.” Indeed — stronger accountability for law enforcement officers around the country is actually exactly one of the main goals of the protest movement that has grown around the United States throughout recent days. With their reckless policing practices, the Trump team is simply adding onto the problem, while Trump stays hiding out in the White House posting random incendiary tweets at all hours of the day.
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) June 2, 2020