WASHINGTON — The nearly 1,300 D.C. National Guard members who have been activated to assist law enforcement entities dealing with civil unrest were joined Monday evening by Guardsmen from Utah and New Jersey, and almost 1,500 guardsmen are coming today from Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi, according to Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.
The general said more are due to arrive Wednesday.
Law enforcement directed tear gas to disperse protesters yesterday so that President Donald Trump could visit St. John’s Church, which was set on fire as demonstrators clashed with police over the weekend. Tear gas canisters could be heard exploding as Trump spoke in the Rose Garden. He then walked over to the church.
In response to Monday’s incident D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Tuesday that she “didn’t see any provocation that would warrant the deployment of munitions, especially for the purpose of moving the president across the street.”
“I don’t think the military should be used on the streets of American cities against Americans,” Bowser also said in response to the president’s threats to deploy more members of the National Guard across the U.S. to respond to violent protesters. “And I definitely don’t think it should be done for a show.”