Story at a glance
- A mob of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol on Wednesday.
- The National Guard was called in hours later, raising questions about the city’s ability to maintain law and order.
- Without statehood, D.C. officials had to wait for federal approval.
An hour before a mob of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol Building, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement on the path to granting statehood to the nation's capital.
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"Just like the millions of Americans who voted nationwide and the thousands who organized and voted in Georgia, we are ready to build a more perfect union – one in which all voices are heard, one in which we work together to uplift families in cities, and suburbs, and small towns, and one in which the 712,000 residents of Washington, DC have full access to our nation’s democracy," she said in a statement as Democrats claimed a historic victory in Georgia.
Then, as the nation watched an armed insurgency in the House and Senate chambers, the question of D.C.’s statehood was raised again. While some made comparisons to the show of police force and federal agents during Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the summer, the fact of the matter was that the city had no power to activate the National Guard as other states had done.
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"The designated commander for National Guard deployments within D.C. is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy because it's not a state," said Oriana Pawlyk, a reporter for Military.com.
Not totally. The designated commander of for National Guard deployments within D.C. is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy because it's not a state. The mayor can call in the Guard for the DC metropolitan area, but again, needs SecArmy approval https://t.co/MxalRLHCFy— Oriana Pawlyk (@Oriana0214) January 6, 2021
Even before the National Guard was deployed in Washington (after reports that a request had been denied by the Department of Defense), Gov. Ralph Northam mobilized the Virginia National Guard and sent state troopers across the river to join Capitol Police, which was the only law enforcement agency on the scene.
D.C. Council says that the request has since been approved. Virginia National Guard, slew of regional law enforcement also on the scene or en route https://t.co/U4r4tjIfyI— Rachel Kurzius (@Curious_Kurz) January 6, 2021
At least one person was shot and injured during the attack on the Capitol building that forced both chambers of Congress to evacuate in the middle of certifying election results on Wednesday. Bowser announced a 6 p.m. curfew for the city and closed all public COVID-19 testing sites.
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