After another night of protests — relatively peaceful compared with those earlier in the week — in Washington, D.C., the city’s mayor has escalated her efforts to extricate the city from the presence of troops and law enforcement officers who had been ordered there by federal officials.
“The very first thing is we want the military — we want troops from out of state out of Washington, D.C.,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday.
Because the District of Columbia is not a state, the federal government has different powers in the nation’s capital than it does in other cities. More than 4,500 National Guard troops from nearly a dozen states were directed to the city as demonstrations grew following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.
Washington streets are also being patrolled by uniformed, heavily armed personnel without name badges or insignia to indicate which agencies they work for.
President Trump has threatened to send the active-duty military into places where local and state officials have struggled to contain demonstrators.
Protests in Washington turned violent last weekend as mobs looted stores and set fires and officers responded with batons and tear gas. Peaceful protesters outside the White House were gassed to clear the area for the president’s photo-op appearance outside St. John’s Church on Monday.
On Friday, June 5th, Bowser ordered the space to be renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza. Muralists painted the slogan on the pavement in massive yellow letters that covered two blocks.
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