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DC mayor worried about US 'descending into a race war'

DC mayor worried about US 'descending into a race war'
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Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserFederal court rules DC church can resume services outdoors despite city restrictions DC-area health officials urge COVID-19 testing for anyone at White House event DC reports highest single-day rise in coronavirus cases since June MORE (D) warned of the threat of a “race war” in the U.S., saying she suspected “outside agitators” in demonstrations that turned violent over the weekend.

“What I’m worried about is this country descending into a race war,” Bowser said at a Monday news conference, according to WAMU. “And I’m worried about the continued incitement of violence from leadership who should be focused on bringing our communities together. ... Our police and peaceful protesters will be safer when we come together as a community and tamp down this Black vs. white rhetoric.

“We will not tolerate violence of any kind in Washington, D.C.,” she added. “We don’t tolerate it if it’s on the streets between rival crews and we won’t tolerate it against our police officers, the men and women who are charged with keeping our community safe. And we certainly won’t tolerate it against our residents and visitors.”

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D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham claimed those arrested over the weekend “appear to be folks who are coming into our peaceful city with the intent of destroying property and hurting folks.” However, similar claims by Newsham in June were undercut by arrest and prosecution records indicating participants were largely locals. Eighty-three percent of people arrested during D.C. demonstrations from May through August are from D.C., Virginia or Maryland, according to WAMU.

Bowser conceded that the Metropolitan Police Department has yet to identify any group or funding source behind the violence, but said such a connection would not be “a big leap.” Newsham claimed police intelligence connected a van present over the weekend to demonstrations in Portland, Ore., and Kenosha, Wis.

By contrast, Newsham noted police made no arrests on Friday, when large crowds gathered to commemorate the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE has frequently attacked Democratic mayors, including Bowser, by name for their response to protests and rioting. However, Bowser said Monday the federal government has failed to do its part.

“When we arrest people for ... felony charges, we need the U.S. attorney for the District, who is a federal appointee of the president, to prosecute them,” she said Monday.