Capitol Police ask DC National Guard for assistance ahead of possible trucker protest
Washington, D.C., law enforcement agencies have asked the Pentagon for assistance ahead of President Biden’s first State of the Union address next week, an event expected to coincide with truck convoy protests.
The U.S. Capitol Police and the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency asked for D.C. National Guard personnel “to provide support at traffic control points in and around the District to help … address potential challenges stemming from possible disruptions at key traffic arteries,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement Tuesday.
Kirby said the Defense Department is “analyzing” the requests but “no decisions have been made yet” on whether to approve them.
Military Times was the first to report on the requests, with National Guard troops notified of a potential activation between Feb. 22 and March 7 or later, according to internal directives obtained by the outlet.
The guardsmen, if activated, would provide vehicles and personnel at “43 critical blocking positions 24/7,” Military Times reported.
D.C. law enforcement agencies have said since last week that they have received reports of truck drivers potentially planning to block roads in major metropolitan cities in the United States in protest of, among other things, vaccine mandates. These plans follow similar protests and blockades formed by Canadian truck drivers in the past month.
“Law enforcement agencies across the National Capital Region are aware of plans for a series of truck convoys arriving in Washington, DC around the time of the State of the Union,” the U.S. Capitol Police said in a Feb. 18 statement.
“The USCP is closely coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Park Police, the United States Secret Service and other allied agencies to include the DC National Guard.”
If the troops are activated, this would be one of the first uses of a new law meant make it easier for U.S. Capitol Police to request emergency assistance from the National Guard. The law was put into effect following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
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