DC Mayor Muriel Bowser Requests Federal Law Enforcement, Soldiers Get out Amid Donald Trump's Incursions Over Peaceful Protests

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has requested President Donald Trump to withdraw "all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from the city. In a letter sent to the president and shared to Twitter, Bowser announced that she had "ended the state of emergency in the District of Columbia related to demonstrations," which had at times turned violent. In recent days, however, Bowser noted that they remained peaceful and the Metropolitan Police Department did not make "a single arrest" Thursday night, the second straight evening without an arrest related to the protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd.

In the letter, Bowser said she believed the city government was "well equipped" to handle peaceful protests without federal assistance. Trump had mobilized a military response in the city after several demonstrations escalated into violence, with CNN reporting that combined, at least 5,800 troops, agents, and officers had taken to the streets of the nation's capital, something that was widely condemned. Those troops include personnel from the national guard, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Park Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Protective Service and the Transportation Security Administration. The president had also threatened to send military troops to quell protests in other states, something that most governors have opposed.

Bowser went on to note that "unidentified federal personnel patrolling" the city "pose both safety and national security risks." She added that the presence of federal law enforcement personnel is "inflaming" protesters and "adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting" for reforms. She said that the "additional, unidentified units" are operating "outside of established chains of command," something that can lead to "dangerous confusion." She also condemned the use of the "war-like tactic" of using helicopters to disperse protesters. Bowser also questioned why so many officers "lack identifying insignia," stating that it creates "unnecessary risks for both protesters and officers."

Bowser concluded the letter by writing that "the safety and freedom of the residents and visitors to the District of Columbia is paramount" and reiterated her view that "law enforcement should be in place to protect the rights of American citizens, not restrict them." Trump has not yet responded to the letter.