WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he’s given the order for National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital, saying everything now is “under perfect control.”
The District of Columbia government requested some Guard forces last week to assist law enforcement with managing protests after the death of George Floyd. But Trump ordered thousands more troops and federal law enforcement to the city to “dominate” the streets after some instances of looting and violence.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser last week called on Trump to withdraw National Guard troops that some states sent to the city.
Trump tweeted Sunday that “They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed.”
He also ordered more than 1,000 active duty troops to be flown to the D.C.-area in reserve, but they have begun returning to their home bases after days of peaceful protests.
Washington protesters express optimism after week on edge
The demonstrators who flooded Washington on Saturday reshaped the mood of a city that has been on edge.
Bursts of looting and violence earlier in the week prompted a dramatic clampdown by law enforcement that gave the nation’s capital the feeling of an occupied city.
But on Saturday, go-go music — a distinctive D.C. offshoot of funk — blared from a truck that looked more like a parade float. Impromptu dance parties popped up.
A black man shared a fist bump with a black police officer. People used chalk to write messages of support on the street.
The displays of levity, unfolding against the backdrop of damaged buildings marked with graffiti, amounted to a moment of catharsis for a city and nation in crisis.
Largely peaceful protests against police brutality march on
Massive protests against police brutality nationwide capped a week that began in chaos but ended with largely peaceful expressions that organizers hope will sustain their movement.
Tens of thousands of people, if not more, marched Saturday with few reports of problems in scenes that were more often festive than tense.
But by evening, Seattle police used pepper spray to disperse a crowd hurling objects.
The largest U.S. demonstration appeared to be in Washington, where protesters flooded streets from the Capitol to the White House.
It came as mourners in North Carolina waited to glimpse the golden coffin carrying George Floyd's body.
The black man's death at the hands of Minneapolis police has galvanized the expanding movement.