EXCLUSIVE: Washington, D.C. National Guard troops stationed in the city “will not be armed,” at the request of Mayor Muriel Bowser, as the nation’s capital braces for large-scale protests and unrest after the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Fox News has learned.
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on Tuesday.
Fox News has learned that hundreds of troops are being deployed to protect civilians from protests, rioting and looting at 30 different locations across the city, but all are prohibited from carrying any weapons or arms whatsoever, according to a directive from Bowser’s office, and approval by the acting secretary of the Army.
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.”
Multiple National Guard sources told Fox News that troops are “outraged” by the request, with one comparing the assignment to serving as “boycotts with reflective vests.”
In another letter obtained by Fox News from acting Army Secretary John Whitley to Walker, Whitley says D.C. National Guard “will not be armed for this support mission.”
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“They may be equipped with safety vests and lighted traffic wands, as requested by MPD,” Whitley wrote, adding that National Guard troops will have “personal protective equipment, including helmets, plate carriers, and ballistic plates” as well as “civil disturbance equipment, including batons and shields for personal protection” available to them.
Meanwhile, according to internal documents reviewed by Fox News, Bowser has also requested from the secretary of Defense that more troops be reassigned from the Capitol to the streets of D.C.