Demonstrators protest near the White House in Washington, over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.
People are taking to the streets of Washington Saturday for what is expected to be a large protest, a continuation of days of demonstrations in the city and across the U.S. over the death of an African American man who died after being restrained by a white policeman.
The chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, Peter Newsham, said authorities “anticipate numbers that are larger than any of the numbers that we’ve seen to this point.”
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter Thursday to President Donald Trump asking him to “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, D.C.”
The Trump administration has deployed federal law enforcers and the National Guard to respond the protests in the city, triggering widespread criticism from city officials and activists that their actions are escalating tensions.
Mayor Bowser denounced federal law enforcement officials patrolling the streets and taking action without regard to “established chains of command.”
Trump said Friday that National Guard troops “saved her [Bowser] from great embarrassment.”
The Trump administration was widely criticized after federal authorities fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters Monday outside the White House, so that Trump could walk to a nearby church and pose for photographs with a Bible in hand.
Protests in Washington have occurred every day since last Friday. Peaceful daytime demonstrations last Saturday and Sunday turned violent after nightfall with looting and other acts of violence.
Bowser said Thursday the 7 p.m. curfew was lifted for the first time this week as the protests became more peaceful with each passing day.