Federal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report
A federal plan to contain continuing protests in Washington, D.C., currently allocates about 7,600 civilian law enforcement, National Guard and active-duty Army personnel, according to an internal document compiled for the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday obtained by Bloomberg News.
The forces in question are reportedly stationed just outside the city, at Andrews Air Force Base, Fort Belvoir and Fort Myer.
Attorney General William Barr said the forces are justified to protect the District during a time of massive unrest brought by demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last week.
The deployments include 500 personnel each from the U.S. Capitol Police, Washington Police Department and U.S. Secret Service, according to the outlet.
Additionally, 445 Bureau of Prisons staff, 168 members of the U.S. Marshals Service, 160 Drug Enforcement Agency employees, 80 U.S. Park Police and 32 FBI agents are also deployable.
The plan also includes 2,935 National Guard troops, bolstered by 1,704 active-duty troops.
The news comes as protests in the District this week have been relatively subdued compared to the demonstrations that devolved into violence over the past weekend.
President Trump warned Monday that he could deploy active military troops into U.S. cities, particularly in Washington.
The president later appeared to walk back his remarks Wednesday about invoking the Insurrection Act, a 19th century law that would allow him to deploy the U.S. military across the country. Trump told former White House secretary Sean Spicer during an interview that he didn’t think deploying the military in the U.S. was necessary.
Monday night, law enforcement removed what appeared to be a peaceful crowd of protesters in Lafayette Square near the White House with the use of tear gas, batons and smoke bombs.
The incident has led to criticism about the administration’s response to protests from U.S. lawmakers.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.