Yesterday, supposedly under pressure from Trump*, D.C.’s Mayor** Bowser declared a 7pm curfew that also will be in place today–and there’s a primary election today in D.C., with the polls open until 8pm (but I’m getting ahead of myself). As you might have heard by now, yesterday, long before the curfew ended, federalized internal security forces fired on peaceful and lawfully gathered protestors near the White House, and beat journalists covering the violence (here’s an eyewitness account from a priest at St. John’s Church where #BunkerBaby did his photo op).
All so Donald Trump could have a photo op for a commercial about how ‘tough’ he is, the big #BunkerBaby.
This was considered so egrgious, Arlington County, VA, which provides police officers to D.C. as part of a mutual aid agreement, ordered its officers to withdraw.
As you might imagine, this didn’t calm things down, and, rather than leaving, people stayed out after curfew.
In spite of D.C. having its own large police force, its own National Guard, and mobilized officers of the U.S. Secret Service, Capitol Police, U.S. Park Police, Federal Protective Service, ICE, CBP, FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals, and BOP, there was still property damage: even on its own terms of preventing looting, the policy was a failure in spite of all of these internal security forces (or perhaps because of them).
At the same time, people were criminalized simply for being outside after 7pm–the curfew created the crime. One group of protestors was chased up 16th Street to Swann Street (Dupont Circle), at which point residents offered refuge and medical assistance, leading to an overnight police standoff (and, on minor, inconsequential note, yet another evening Dupont Circle sounded like a helicopter landing pad)–it appears the protestors were let go.
Most of last night’s problems wouldn’t have been problems were it not for the stupid curfew and #BunkerBaby’s unlawful assault on protestors, which is also in effect for tonight, starting at 7pm. When primary voting is open until 8pm. After last night, there’s no reason to think federalized law enforcement will operate in good faith regarding any curfew, especially when voting is involved. Despite various promises, does anyone trust that voters won’t be arrested on the way back from the polls?
Mayor Bowser needs to cancel tonight’s curfew. If #BunkerBaby wants a curfew, make him impose a curfew during an election. Instead of doing his dirty work for him, make #BunkerBaby work for it.
I can see the hard choice Bowser faced yesterday, but we’re past that now. Remove the curfew, and, instead, have D.C. police patrol our neighborhoods to keep us, not #BunkerBaby, safe.
Let’s return to the halcyon days of yore when we were worrying about the killer death virus.
*The president can take over the D.C. police for 48 hours, after which he requires Congressional approval. Bowser perhaps was attempting to prevent this.
**If D.C. residents had the freedoms and Congressional representation other Americans enjoy, we would be a state and our mayor would be a governor, since the mayor administers state-level functions comparable to other governors (and D.C. has more people than two states).