Trump has touted a law-and-order message and threatened to send in military troops to quell protests in other states, but most governors have been opposed. DC’s status as a district, not a state, allows the President, and in turn the federal government, more leeway. Combined, at least 5,800 troops, agents, and officers have taken to the streets of the District.
Among them are personnel from the national guard, US Secret Service, US Park Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, US Marshals Service, Bureau of Prisons, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Protective Service and the Transportation Security Administration.
In her letter, the Democratic mayor expressed concern that “unidentified federal personnel patrolling the streets of Washington, DC post both safety and national security risks.”
She argued that federal law enforcement personnel are “inflaming” protesters and “adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting” for reforms.
Bowser accused the “additional, unidentified units” of operating “outside of established chains of command” and adding to the confusion by lacking “identifying insignia.”
CNN has reached out to the Department of Justice.
Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that DOJ had deployed “all the major law enforcement components of the department on this mission,” including officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Prisons, and the US Marshal service.
On Monday, the DC National Guard was activated to assist the city’s Metropolitan Police Department with the protests.
As of Thursday, more than 4,500 National Guard Members had been deployed to DC — with troops from 10 states — at the request of Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
CNN’s Evan Perez and Nicky Robertson contributed to this report.