DC Mayor Bowser responds to Trump's criticism over police after George Floyd protests




  • In Politics
  • 2020-05-30 17:57:39Z
  • By USA TODAY
DC Mayor Bowser responds to Trump\
DC Mayor Bowser responds to Trump\'s criticism over police after George Floyd protests  

WASHINGTON - The mayor of the nation's capital defended her city's police force after President Donald Trump claimed she did not allow local law enforcement to "get involved" in responding to Friday protests over the death of George Floyd outside the White House.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said on Twitter the city's police department would protect everyone regardless of whether the mayor agreed with them.

"While he hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & hundreds of years of institutional racism There are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man," she wrote.

"I call upon our city and our nation to exercise great restraint even while this President continues to try to divide us," she continued.

Protesters gathered outside the White House Friday evening as nationwide protests against police brutality and racial discrimination erupted over the killing of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody this week after a white officer pinned him to the ground under his knee.

In a Saturday morning series of tweets, Trump commended the U.S. Secret Service for their work in handling the protests outside the White House, saying they "let the 'protesters' scream & rant as much as they wanted" and "come down on them, hard" when protesters "got too frisky or out of line."

More: White House was locked down as protests over Floyd's death reach nation's capital

More: Trump pushes ahead on July Fourth parade in DC despite objections from local Democratic lawmakers

If the protesters climbed the fence, Trump said they would have been met by "the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen."

Trump said Bowser, who "is always looking for money & help, wouldn't let the D.C. Police get involved."

In a press conference later Saturday, Bowser called Trump's comments "an attack on humanity and black America, and they make my city less safe."

"What used to be heard from dog whistles, we now hear from a bullhorn," she said.

Bowser said Trump's reference to "vicious dogs" in his tweets were "no subtle reminder to African Americans of segregationists who let dogs out on innocent (people)," she added.

Addressing Trump's claim the city's police were not involved, D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said the city's police department had helped respond with the Secret Service and National Park Service as a peaceful crowd of over 1,000 marched to the White House. Some "agitators" stayed behind after the march moved on from the White House and threw bricks and used mace, he said.

Newsham said his agency made no arrests and did not have any reported uses of force or reported injuries.

On Saturday, the Secret Service said six people had been arrested at the protests near the White House and that the Washington, D.C. and National Park Service police had assisted.

Some protesters had tried to knock over barriers, and others were violent and attacked officers, the Secret Service said, but none had climbed the White House fence.

The White House was locked down Friday evening as the protests continued, though the protesters later moved elsewhere in Washington, D.C.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Floyd protests: DC Mayor Bowser responds to Trump tweets

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