DC National Guard will provide approximately four-hundred unarmed guard members to help Park Police secure monuments in Washinton DC, the National Guard Bureau said this Wednesday.
A defense official says Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signed the memo Tuesday authorizing the activation of the DC National Guard forces after the National Park Police made a request for the assistance.
The official said that no Guard forces have been sent onto the streets yet and have so far stayed inside their barracks. There are roughly about 100 troops in the immediate Washington, DC, area. The activation could grow up to 400 in total to rotate troops if needed.
According to dcist
Hundreds of unarmed D.C. National Guardsmen will be sent to help protect monuments in the District amid ongoing protests, the National Guard Bureau said on Wednesday.
In an emailed statement to DCist, Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Craig Clapper, a spokesman for the D.C. National Guard, said, “At the request of the Secretary of the Interior, and approval of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army activated approx. 400 D.C. National Guard members to support the National Park Police in a civil disturbance and security role around D.C.”
Clapper added that since guardsmen were activated, none of them have been dispatched to monuments to assist the Park Police with preventing them from being defaced or damaged. The guardsmen are currently on standby at the National Guard Armory.
The news comes as a number of controversial statues in the D.C. area — and across the country — have become targets for anti-racism demonstrators in the wake of protests following the killing of George Floyd, which saw tense clashes between police and participants early this week.