Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has been granted an additional 250 National Guard troops ahead of a verdict in the State v. Chauvin trial. The nation's capital is one of the many cities around the country preparing for potential fallout from the trial in the coming days.
“At the request of Dr. Rodriguez, Director of the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, the District of Columbia National Guard is in a support role to the Metropolitan Police Department and we are prepared to help provide a safe environment for our fellow citizens to exercise their first amendment right,” D.C. National Guard Adjutant General Aaron R. Dean told WUSA.
“This is our home, and we are dedicated to the safety and security of our fellow citizens of the District and their right to safely and peacefully protest.”
To ensure there are fewer violent interactions between officers and demonstrators, members of the National Guard will not be armed. President Joe Biden is the only public official who has the authority to arm the D.C. National Guard.
"They will not be armed. The only authority that can arm the National Guard is the President. So we did not request that they be armed," Washington, D.C.'s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Christopher Wray said.
Washington, D.C. is no stranger to the National Guard. As protests ramped up following the death of George Floyd, National Guard troops were deployed throughout the city. More recently, protests have taken place in the city's Northwest quadrant. Four people were arrested for using fireworks during a protest over the weekend. To prepare for what could happen in the coming days, the Metropolitan Police Department has canceled leave for all officers and put cops on extended 12-hour shifts.
"I hope that justice prevails in that trial. What I also want to stay focused on in the city is that everyone is safe," Bowser said.
Photo Credit: Getty Images