• Search

DC Mayor Boots National Guardsmen Out Of Hotels, Tells Trump To Send Them Home

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser had 1,200 National Guardsmen evicted was hotels as they returned from shifts guarding the city.

Washington, DC – DC Mayor Muriel Bowser struck another blow against the plan to shut down rioting in the nation’s capital on Thursday night when she announced she was evicting 1,200 National Guard troops from 10 different states from hotel accommodations in the city they’ve been guarding.

National Guardsmen finishing shifts protecting Washington, DC from the rioting, burning, and looting that occurred several nights in a row returned to their hotel rooms at a downtown Marriott at 3 a.m. on June 5 to be greeted with the news that they had to be checked out by 11 a.m. that morning, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).

There have also been countless attacks on law enforcement guarding the White House.

The press release said these same soldiers have another shift guarding the nation’s capital that is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today and they will not get an opportunity to rest because of Bowser’s actions.

Lee fumed at the DC mayor on Twitter immediately after he got the news on Thursday night.

“Just heard that Mayor Bowser is kicking the Utah National Guard out of all DC hotels tomorrow. More than 1200 troops from 10 states are being evicted. This is unacceptable,” Lee tweeted.

“These brave men and women have risked their lives protecting DC for three days. Rioting, looting, arson, and vandalism have all disappeared bc these soldiers served. And now they are being kicked to the curb by an ungrateful mayor. This must be stopped,” he continued in a second tweet.

Bowser sent a letter to President Donald Trump on June 4 that said she had ended the State of Emergency declared earlier in the week after rioting demonstrators set fire to historic churches, vandalized memorials, and looted businesses in protest of 46-year-old George Floyd’s death in the custody of Minneapolis police.

In the letter, the mayor asked President Trump to withdraw all “extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC.”

Bowser expressed concern in the letter that the presence of “unidentified federal personnel patrolling” caused “safety and national security risks.”

“The deployment of federal law enforcement personnel and equipment are inflaming demonstrators and adding to the grievances of those who, by and large, are peacefully protesting for change and for reforms to the racist and broken systems that are killing Black Americans,” she wrote.

Bowser said additional law enforcement was causing “dangerous confusion” such as “when helicopters are used in a war-like tactic to frighten and disperse peaceful protesters.”

The “peaceful protesters” to whom the DC mayor referred included those who set fire to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, the AFL-CIO headquarters building, and looted stores downtown, along the K Street corridor, in historic Georgetown, and in tony Friendship Heights along the Maryland line.

The U.S. Senator from Utah was outraged by the treatment that the 200 Guardsman from his state received at the hands of the DC mayor and released a more formal statement about it on Friday morning.

“Evicting Utah National Guard personnel from their hotels after a late-night shift risking their lives to protect Washington is a shameful, petty, discrediting decision by Mayor Bowser,” Lee said.

“Our Utah guardsmen are consummate professionals who are not complaining in the slightest,” he continued. “But their labor and sacrifice on behalf of Washingtonians deserves better than this embarrassing spectacle. If Mayor Bowser has a problem with President Trump she should take it up with him, not take it out on National Guard personnel in the middle of a dangerous deployment in her city.”

The guardsmen from Utah were deployed to DC on short notice earlier in the week, according to the press release.

President Trump was also furious about the “incompetent” DC mayor’s disrespectful move and accused her of constantly looking for “handouts” from the federal government.

But he did not back down on the troop deployment.

At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Bowser tried to deny that she’d intentionally evicted the National Guardsmen.

“We never intended to kick them out,” she claimed, and said the city had the unoccupied hotels reserved for COVID-19 patients.

Bowser said it was about who was paying for the rooms.

“Our message to the hotel was that if you are going to use the COVID rooms we’ve reserved, you have to pay for them,” she told reporters. “We understood that would just be a matter of somebody else paying for them, not DC residents.

Then she admitted she had made a move to oust the troops entirely from the city.

“Late last night we made a formal request that those out-of-state troops be called home,” the mayor said.

She complained that when the DC National Guard is called up, they are deputized so they can perform law enforcement duties in the city.

Bowser said that DC National Guard Commanding General William Walker hadn’t checked with her first before deputizing out-of-state guardsmen.

“That won’t be happening anymore,” she told reporters.

On Friday morning, Bowser had the street leading up to the White House painted with 35-foot yellow letters that read “Black Lives Matter.”

She also officially named the street Black Lives Matter Plaza, NW and posted a street sign to formalize the declaration.

DC remains in the early phases of reopening from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and restaurant owners are furious the mayor is supporting groups of thousands of protesters in the streets while they are still prohibited from serving guests inside their dining rooms.

Bowser denied that one issue had anything to do with the other.

“Our message is really two separate things,” she said, and then went on to ask that people who have coronavirus symptoms refrain from joining the hundreds of thousands of protesters expected to decent on DC over the weekend.

The mayor said that city officials have no idea what the impact of the demonstrations will be on “our COVID experience in DC.”

When reporters asked Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham about the federal law enforcement support DC has received, he disagreed with the mayor without openly challenging her.

“For operational purposes we have asked the DC National Guard to assist,” Chief Newsham said. “That hasn’t changed.”

He said the mayor would decide whether to reinstate the curfew she cancelled over the weekend, and then Bowser said she would do when the police chief told her to do so.

Sandy Malone - June Fri, 2020


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."