State Watch

DC police chief says there were zero arrests in city on Wednesday

Washington, D.C., police made no arrests in connections with protests over the death of George Floyd in the city Wednesday night, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Peter Newsham said in a press conference Thursday.

Newsham said there were “zero arrests associated with the peaceful demonstrations we had here in the city. There was no damage to MPD property. There was no MPD injuries. Moving forward over the next couple of days, we expect more of the same.”

The department had made 29 arrests Tuesday night and 288 Monday evening, Newsham noted.

He estimated in excess of 5,000 peaceful protesters took to the streets over the course of the day Wednesday, with multiple groups marching through the city independent of one another.

In the same press conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said she remained concerned about the use of military assets in response to the protests.

“There are other federal military assets that we did not request that we understand are under the direction of Attorney General [William] Barr,” Bowser said. “We are all very concerned about how the federal assets pushed out from the federal complex and we worked with them to push back.”

Newsham said he had heard similar concerns from D.C. residents “about what they perceive as a military takeover,” saying most could not distinguish between the D.C. National Guard and federal officers, adding, “They look the same. They look like soldiers.”

Militarization of the nation’s capital during the protests has sparked widespread concerns in recent days, with the District National Guard telling The Hill it has asked for an investigation into the use of a helicopter to disperse crowds.

“Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, District of Columbia National Guard Commanding General, has directed an investigation into a June 1 low-flying maneuver conducted by one of our rotary aviation assets,” Air Force Lt. Col. Brooke Davis, spokeswoman for the D.C. National Guard, told The Hill in a statement Tuesday.

Tags Black Lives Matter deaths in police custody George Floyd Muriel Bowser Peter Newsham police brutality Washington D.C.

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