DC Mayor Refused Any Federal Law Enforcement Help Prior to Protests

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Posted: Jan 07, 2021 2:30 PM
DC Mayor Refused Any Federal Law Enforcement Help Prior to Protests

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

There will be many questions as to what went wrong in Washington, D.C., during the peaceful pro-Trump protests in the National Mall that later turned into riots at the Capitol building on Wednesday. One of the sticking points was the slow law enforcement response that took hours to help the overwhelmed Capitol Police.

On Tuesday, the day before the Trump rally, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) posted a letter explaining she did not want extra federal law enforcement personnel in Washington, D.C., unless the city's police department was consulted first.

"To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway," Bowser tweeted along with a picture of the letter she sent to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.

"The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is prepared for this week's First Amendment activities. MPD has coordinated with its federal partners, namely the US Park Police, US Capitol Police, and the US Secret Service-all of whom regularly have uniformed personnel protecting federal assets in the District of Columbia," Bowser wrote, adding, "The District of Columbia Government has not requested personnel from any other federal law enforcement agencies."

Bowser said "unidentifiable" federal officers who were in D.C. during the city's riots in 2020 added to the confusion for MPD and residents. It remains to be seen that if Bowser had asked for federal assistance, then it could have lessened response time to the Capitol complex once it was breached.