Trump Pulls Back National Guard Following Washington Protests

Trump Pulls Back National Guard Following Washington Protests
President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit St. John's Church in Washington on June 1, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

President Donald Trump said that he’s given the order for National Guard troops to start withdrawing in Washington, noting that everything is “under perfect control” following sometimes violent protests, acts of vandalism, and arson triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Washington government requested that some National Guard forces last week be sent to assist local law enforcement.

Trump ordered troops and federal law enforcement agents into the city to control and “dominate” the streets following looting and violence. Days later, as the protests calmed down, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser called on the White House to withdraw National Guard troops that some states had deployed to the nation’s capital.

“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control,” the president wrote. “They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!”

There were online claims that about one million protesters would show up outside the White House on Saturday, although the actual turnout appeared to be a fraction of that. Bowser, in solidarity with the protesters, had the words “Black Lives Matter” written in yellow on 16th Ave. in Washington.

Of the response to Saturday’s protest, the president wrote late at night that the “National Guard, Secret Service, and D.C. Police have been doing a fantastic job. Thank you!”

Police and National Guard members
Police and National Guard members block a street in Washington on June 6, 2020. (Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images)
A checkpoint blocks traffic on 16th Street
A checkpoint blocks traffic on 16th Street Northwest as people gather near the White House in Washington on June 6, 2020.(Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Saturday’s marches featured few reports of problems in scenes that were more often festive than tense. Authorities have not released crowd size estimates, but it was clear tens of thousands of people—and perhaps hundreds of thousands—turned out nationally.

Floyd’s body will go to Houston, where he lived before Minneapolis, for another memorial in the coming days.

Congressional Democrats are preparing a sweeping package of police reforms, which is expected to include changes to immunity provisions and creating a database of use-of-force incidents. Revamped training requirements are planned, too—among them, a ban on chokeholds.

Derek Chauvin put his knee in the back of Floyd’s neck, pinning him down for around eight minutes. Chauvin and three other officers were fired the following day, and Chauvin now faces second-degree murder charges.

The other officers, Thomas Lane, 37, Tou Thao, 34, and J. Alexander Kueng, 26, were charged with two counts of aiding and abetting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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