Throughout the recent days of nationwide protests against police brutality, President Donald Trump has consistently responded to the demonstrations by advocating for more brutality against protesters. To that end, a slew of federal law enforcement personnel and military officers have been deployed into the streets of Washington, D.C., where they have, among other things, lined up on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in broad daylight and flown a military helicopter about 100 feet above protesters as a “show of force.” Some of the personnel involved in the efforts have refused to identify themselves, and now, Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) is calling on Trump to “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from our city.”
Why it's so unusual — and so dangerous — that the government deployed security forces in DC who aren't identified by organization or name and won't acknowledge who they work for. https://t.co/7IBfGyzqbj
— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 4, 2020
In a letter addressed to Trump himself that the mayor shared on social media, she explained the state of emergency in D.C. has been lifted, and total arrests made in conjunction to protests wound down to zero the night prior. She added:
‘Since Home Rule, we have developed a finely wrought system of coordination with federal partners, and we will continue to work with them to ensure the safety of demonstrations. We are well equipped to handle demonstrations and First Amendment activities. Furthermore, I continue to be concerned that unidentified federal personnel patrolling the streets of Washington, DC pose both safety and national security risks. The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans.’
Check out the mayor’s letter:
— Mayor Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
As Bowser went on to note, some personnel have even shown up on the streets of D.C. without any sort of identification visible that reveals which arm of the federal government they’re with. It’s not a great development for the Trump administration to dispatch what effectively amounts to a de facto secret police onto the streets of D.C.
When no one knows a law enforcement officers name or even which agency they work for, there is no accountability for excessive force. Barr’s response to George Floyd’s murder is police violence without accountability for it. https://t.co/ty8Ao2MhkT
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 4, 2020
Meanwhile, Trump himself reportedly ordered the recent “show of force” in which a military helicopter flew right above demonstrators.
Tweeting too much today, but I have to express shock that Trump ordered a military attack against fellow Americans.
”The helicopters were performing a show of force — a standard tactic used by military aircraft in combat zones to scatter insurgents." https://t.co/55esbtR2Tc
— Aya Gruber (@ayagruber) June 3, 2020
Check out Twitter’s response to Mayor Bowser below: