Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser called in the DC National Guard to assist local agencies during the pro-Trump rallies set to take place this week. The demonstrations are scheduled around the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win over Donald Trump.
CNN reports that acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller approved the mayor’s request on Monday. In her letter, Bowser referenced similar protests in November and December that “resulted in a large influx of participants, violence, and criminal activity.”
Bowser’s office told the outlet that the plan includes the activation of 340 guardsmen, while the total amount of guardsmen deployed at any given time will be 114. The source said the personnel would be sent to a few dozen points on the streets and will be accompanied by a DC police officer at each location. Guardsmen will also be stationed at Metro subway stations in the city alongside local authorities. The Guardsmen will focus primarily be on the Metro and traffic, a spokesperson for Bowser said.
Police Chief Robert Contee said that the National Guard would assist in crowd management and traffic control during the demonstrations. Their presence will free up local authorities to focus on potential acts of violence and other security issues that may arise.