(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Senior Members of the Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr demanding information about the sudden surge of federal and unidentified law enforcement officers in the District of Columbia following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.
The letter was signed by Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Chairman Jamie Raskin, National Security Subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch, Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly, and Committee Member Eleanor Holmes Norton.
“As these federal forces amass a huge presence in the District of Columbia, we seek immediate information about the reasons behind their mobilization, the costs of their deployment, and why individual officers are hiding their affiliation and identifying information from public scrutiny,” wrote the lawmakers.
Since President Trump appeared in the Rose Garden on June 1 and threatened to “dominate the streets” of America while simultaneously declaring himself a President of “law and order,” thousands of federal and unidentified law enforcement officers have swarmed into the District of Columbia to respond to demonstrators protesting systemic racial inequalities within the U.S. criminal justice system.
“The vast majority of protests in the District of Columbia have been peaceful,” the lawmakers wrote. “It appears that the massive influx of federal forces is intended to assert authoritarian power over the District of Columbia rather than to protect federal property, enforce federal law, or protect people exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting systemic racial inequalities within the U.S. criminal justice system.”
The Oversight Members also reiterated the need to grant statehood to the District of Columbia. Yesterday, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote to President Trump requesting that he withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from the District of Columbia, noting that they upend the District’s “finely wrought system of coordination with federal partners” and that the “multiplicity of forces can breed dangerous confusion.”
The Committee requested documents and information by June 10, 2020.
Click here to read the letter.