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Mayor's office says federal officials asked about assuming control of DC police

Mayor's office says federal officials asked about assuming control of DC police
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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience DC limits indoor dining, gatherings The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans MORE said it would be an "affront to even our limited home rule" for the White House to take control of the city's police force amid protests near the White House that have included vandalism and the setting of fires. 

Bowser made the remarks in response a report from The Washington Post that said the White House and other federal officials had inquired about taking control of the city's police for at least 48 hours. 

"I would regard that as an affront to even our limited home rule and the safety of the District of Columbia," Bowser said at a press conference Tuesday. 

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John Falcicchio, Bowser's chief of staff, told reporters Tuesday that “we are firm in our understanding” that allowing such a takeover “would not be a prudent move.” 

Falcicchio told the Post about the request and said that the city is prepared to sue if the administration proceeds.

When asked to confirm the request from the federal government, Bowser's office pointed to her response during Tuesday's press conference.  

Bowser has said that the president's rhetoric intensifies dangerous encounters between protesters and police while the Trump administration has called on the city police to take a more aggressive approach.

The request from the federal government comes after days of unrest in the District as demonstrators protest the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody. 

Derek Chauvin, the former officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck, has since been fired and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers were fired but have not been charged.

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Floyd’s death has led to massive demonstrations in dozens of major U.S. cities.

In the District, rounds of tear gas and military helicopters were used to disperse protesters in the city as protests raged in front of the White House on Monday evening. 

"That was a federal asset. That decision was made by a federal agency. I don't know if it was helpful," Police Chief Peter Newsham said. 

Trump has reacted with fury to violent protests across the nation, calling on governors and local leaders to deploy the National Guard to quell looting and destruction of property.