The hundreds of Washington, D.C., National Guard troops who are deployed throughout the city to protect civilians from potential protests after the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin have been left unarmed at the request of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
A directive from Bowser’s office, which was approved by the acting secretary of the Army, mandated that the troops entrusted with the duty of supporting the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department are forbidden from carrying weapons to defend themselves, according to Fox News.
The troops have been stationed to protect people and property at 30 different places throughout the nation’s capital.
As Fox News further reported:
Bowser’s office sent a letter to Maj. Gen. William Walker of the D.C. National Guard earlier this month, requesting troops be “activated” to assist the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
“No DCNG personnel will be armed or engaged in any law enforcement activity during this activation,” the letter to Walker, from director of D.C.’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Christopher Rodriguez, wrote earlier this month.
Bowser’s administration also told Walker that “the mission of the DCNG during this activation will primarily be crowd management, ‘Quick Response Force’ (QRF) and to assist with blocking vehicles at traffic posts.”
Several National Guard sources claimed to Fox News that the troops are “outraged” by the request, and one reportedly compared their assignment to serving as “boycotts with reflective vests.”
“They may be equipped with safety vests and lighted traffic wands, as requested by MPD,” acting Army Secretary John Whitley wrote to Walker, according to an internal letter obtained by Fox News. The letter went on to stipulate that National Guardsmen will be provided “personal protective equipment, including helmets, plate carriers, and ballistic plates” as well as “civil disturbance equipment, including batons and shields for personal protection.”
Washington, D.C., and other major cities are bracing for potential unrest Tuesday night despite the guilty verdict against Chauvin. As The Daily Wire reported regarding the conclusion of the trial:
After a little over ten hours of deliberation, a jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of George Floyd.
The jury considered three separate charges, “second-degree murder—unintentional, while committing a felony; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The judge explained that third-degree murder requires proof Mr. Chauvin caused Mr. Floyd’s death by committing an eminently dangerous act that was highly likely to cause death and showed a reckless disregard for human life. To convict Mr. Chauvin of second-degree manslaughter, the jurors would need to conclude that culpable negligence and reckless actions by Mr. Chauvin caused Mr. Floyd’s death.”
They found Chauvin guilty on all three.
Related: Joe Biden Phones George Floyd’s Family Following Verdict: ‘We’re So Relieved’