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tv   Washington DC Mayor Bowser Holds News Conference  CSPAN  May 31, 2020 9:34pm-10:01pm EDT

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arkansas testified before a house subcommittee on how their states are responding area tuesday 11:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. c-span.org more on the free c-span radio app. daily unfiltered coverage of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic with briefings from the white house, congress and governors from across the country plus join in the conversation on our live call-in program "washington journal." if you missed any of our live coverage, watch any time on-demand on c-span.org/coronavirus. washington, dc merrier -- mayor muriel bowser and the chief of police said they were prepared to allow peaceful protests against police violence while preventing others from destroying the city. mayor bowser also called on president trump not to incite
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violence and play a role in calming the nation. mayor bowser: good afternoon, everybody. i am muriel bowser, i'm mayor of washington, dc. i am joined by members of my administration, the chief of police peter newsham and the city administrator rishaad young. we are here today to provide an update on the district's response to protests in the district overnight and yesterday. he district overnight and yesterday. i want to start by saying we certainly recognize and outragee with the people feel following the killing in minneapolis last week. thate certainly empathize
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the killing of george floyd was not the first and people were expressing outrage and demanding action. we also recognize that we are proud of our city and we do not destroyed.ty to be so, police and firefighters and members of the public safety team for washington, d.c., along with our federal partners have been working to make sure people can exercise their first amendment rights while not destroying washington, d.c. i would just be chief of police mpd'svide an update on actions and then we will take your questions. thank you, mayor bowser. i have to say, i have been proud of my mayor a lot of times in my
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career as a chief of police and an officer here in the city. one of those more proud times restrict :00 this morning when the mayor and i were out looking at -- was at 3:00 this morning when the mayor and i were out looking at the damage. thank you, mayor bowser. we witnessed demonstrations on a daily basis. prior to last night, the demonstrations around the tragic death of george floyd in our city were largely peaceful and were done so in a safe and respectful way without destroying city property or harming people. unfortunately, that changed. yesterday, we did have a number of demonstrations in the city. hundreds of people came to washington, d.c. to demonstrate peacefully and i want to thank those, including our local black lives matter group that held a large, but peaceful car caravan
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throughout our city. just after 4 p.m. though, the advised that agitator started throwing objects at police officers. at around 4:30 p.m., the majority of the demonstrators were concentrated at 17th and pennsylvania avenue northwest. they broke glass. they spray-painted and flattened the tires of three u.s. secret service uniformed division vehicles. 6 p.m., thatre same group began to march southbound on 17th street northwest, continuing towards constitution avenue. at around 7 p.m., a small number were involved in multiple instances of intentional vandalism and destruction of government property. most of that occurred just north of lafayette park in our central boost -- central business
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district. there were multiple instances of rocks, bottles, and incendiary devices being thrown at law enforcement personnel protecting lafayette park. north of lafayette park, there were windows being shattered and graffiti being sprayed. rioters., riders -- began looting businesses. park,est of lafayette three vehicles were set on fire. set aitators were able to toucture that was attached one of our buildings under construction on fire. there were two other small fires as small businesses. d.c. fire to their immense fire, were quick -- d.c. to their immense credit, quick
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to extinguish the small fires, as well as many other small fires that were set in trash receptacles and dumpsters. into the morning with our local and federal law-enforcement partners to manage the chaos. in some cases the metropolitan police department deployed oc .pray and staying bombs the metropolitan police department made 17 arrests. i have been asked a few times where the arrestees were from. we had one that was from chesterfield, virginia. three from alexandria. one from woodbridge. but three who had no fixed .ddress one we were unable to determine an address, and the eight remaining had some ties or lived in washington, d.c. the arrestees, 14 were charged with rioting. two were charged with burglary
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and one was charged with simple assault. i do not anticipate that will be all of the arrest we make relative to this incident. the downtown business district in washington, d.c. has a very sophisticated and expansive video system. some of that is owned by the government. some of that is owned by private businesses. this is the time when we will ask our private businesses to review the footage that they own. if they have video of anyone who destroyed property or hurt people in washington, d.c., we asked them to share that with us. you can call us. we will also have our criminal investigations division be scouring the government cameras for anybody that was involved in
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that behavior. one we have those images, we will share them with the public and here is where we will ask our community to help us who camethose folks into our city with the intention of destroying property and hurting people. we welcome peaceful protest. it's necessary in our society. we can't have people come in to hurt people. we had 11 mpd officers who were injured. the injuries sustained were non-life-threatening. one suffered a significant compound leg fracture and is undergoing surgery today. in addition to the destruction fires, we had 29 metropolitan
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police vehicles that were either damaged or spray-painted. going into today and this evening there are events planned here in the city. we are hoping and urging for dissidents to be peaceful. we are hoping cooler heads will prevail. in the event we have agitators returned to our city, mpd will be prepared. thank you. i want to turn it back to mayor bowser, i think, for any questions. questions?r: questions? yes. bowser, you are out at 3:00 this morning. can you tell us where you went and what you saw in your reaction? let me just say that the chief and mpd certainly had been deployed throughout the evening, providing me updates throughout the night on major
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events and things happening and , thed the time i went out majority of the protesters had and mpd was still working on getting word out. , the number of or windows broken or not. we saw a number of storefronts like that. downtownaw a beautiful d.c. still standing. hadaw business owners that been awakened or had come from and getmes to clean up ready to start again. thisat we said earlier
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morning, that it was maddening -- the officers are putting themselves in danger. while we understand their rights it is not to destroy the city. >> [indiscernible] know thater: well, we people who were destructive last night are not likely curfew so the chief deploying that plan will address how to deal with crowds. groups thatal with split off from the main crowds. >> [indiscernible]
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left, right wing. what are you saying to the residents of d.c. who were out yesterday and what is your message? think you heard the chief, the people who were arrested by mpd were a mix of people, and i would say that was my impression also. i think especially the early day it was largely peaceful. as the evening went on that changed to kind of a bent on destruction. i think what the chief reports to me is many seemed organized and had tools to break windows materialso distribute among them. so i would say the thing that we were struck by, it's an organized group bent more on destruction than protest. >> any names? know.bowser: i don't
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any other questions? yes. mark? you tell us what the plan is for today and tonight? can you tell if you are all hands on deck right now? i know you do not want to give away your tactics and whatnot, but can you give us an idea what your plan is for tonight? mark, you are right. as we make additional arrests, and we will, we will have a clearer picture of potential groups or organized groups who were involved in this. mark them a you're absolutely right. we are not going to discuss tactics, but for the people who want to come to our city intent on destroying things and hurting people we would not want to tip .hem off but we will have sufficient metropolitan police resources to manage this. the idea, particularly when you have the volatility we had last
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the bestimagined to degree possible to get things under control, which the metropolitan police department was able to do. the mayor made a very good point. it's extremely difficult to hurt a city that is as beautiful as ours. we saw fires. we saw destruction of robbery, -- wee business owners sought destruction of property, but the business owners are prepared. we hope that cooler heads will prevail. wewill plan for the bet -- will hope for the best and plan for the worst. >> [indiscernible] >> hi, can you hear me? mayor bowser: yes. i just wanted to ask the other different ways
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you have handled these demonstrations that have evolved in the last two years and you think that you could handle this better than four or five years ago to keep things from getting out of hand? the key toam: yeah, these types of activities -- and as you know we have thousands of demonstrations throughout our city every year, practically on a daily basis. they are managed without event. we rarely have to make arrest. we rarely have to make arrests. the people who are arrested are demonstrators. our tactics are constantly evolving. we will make sure that we do it better the next time when we have an instance like this. policeask most departments across the country, they look at the metropolitan police department as a leader in handling these types of things. jordan?mo:
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jordan from wmau? bowser.mayor what is your message to the owners of the businesses that bless my?d is there any assistance the city will provide in helping clean up? anor bowser: i had opportunity to speak with a number of business owners and i would say their emotion and reaction ranged from sadness to but they allger, were resolved to clean up and get their business back to work. we are working with the business improvement districts in the , downtown d.c. and the triangle -- our agencies, dpw walked with us last night, the dpw and the dpw crews were at work from that
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point on cleaning up and our dcra will be able to assist businesses where dust with -- warding where it is necessary. we will stay in touch with impacted businesses. tom? mayor, gooding, afternoon. you activated the national guard for the public health emergency. what role, if any, is the national guard playing now? to if you asked them activate it, who would they report to come of the police chief would they act on their own? , you areser: tom right. i had an earlier request for the national guard up to 500 troops here to assist us. i can redeploy them and they will work with the chief of
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police and any new redeployment that we mean. and that i have discussed with the secretary of the army. >> thank you. have you redirected any of the national guard from the covid duties to the riot duties? mayor bowser: we will if we need to. presidentay you said trump's remarks made your city less safe. you hold him at all responsible for what happened last night? mayor bowser: i also said, marked, this morning that i think the president has a role combing ationally in calming the in unrest we see in cities across america. i think at the very least he has
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to not incite violence and that is what we would expect. >> [indiscernible] mayor bowser: i can't say that i paid much attention to what hase out so far this morning. make an address to the nation and if he does, i hope it is presidential, and calm,t calls americans to but also directs the attention and resources of the government to addressing the immediate needs that we see in longer-term ones too. i wanted to ask you about lafayette park. i know it is a federal park and you have federal law enforcement there. i'm wondering how metro police is coordinated with them? worried that other
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things are happening elsewhere? mayor bowser: i will say and i will ask the chief to speak to this specifically, but also looking back and all of the times, yesterday i said we have literally supported our federal partners and demonstrations around a lafayette park dozens of times, if not more. our approach is similar, that the chief and his counterparts established a unified command, and they make decisions on how best to keep the district safe, including that federal asset. let me turn to the chief. work in close cooperation with our federal partners all the time in washington, d.c. yesterday was no different. the way we communicate is the chiefs of police for the u.s. park police, the u.s. secret service uniformed division, the leadership at the u.s. secret service, the fbi and other federal agencies, we communicate
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regularly throughout the day. for most of the day, i was in the joint operations command center. we have images of which can monitor events throughout the city and we can direct resources their. there are representatives from our federal agencies. in the event that we cannot get rackley in contact with leadership, we have somebody there that can direct resources from those agencies. with regards to the federal assets being in lafayette park, that is just by virtue of jurisdiction. they have jurisdiction down there. we have jurisdiction for the street. it is incumbent upon us to work cooperatively when things like this happen. do you know any more about the man injured [indiscernible] >> the officer was hit by a brick and sustained a significant injury, a compound fracture as it was described. multiple compound fracture to his leg.
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he went into surgery this morning. i don't know if the surgery has been completed. reporter: do you know where the officer was, what kind of situation he was in? >> he was north of lafayette park. we had a number of officials and officers being attacked with bricks. one of the things we saw in this event that we have not seen in the past as they were throwing incendiary devices at police officers. i think you all captured images of that. to the police officers credit, and i did not mention this earlier, the behavior of our police was incredibly responsible. heroic, in many instances. and i think i could not have been more proud of the folks that were out there. and the one thing everybody has to keep in mind, we will be out there again to ensure our city is safe. and if we have to be out there, we will be out there as long as we need to be to ensure the city is safe. reporter: you've said you guys
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are respecting -- expecting that to happen tonight. >> we know of some planned demonstrations. our expectations are that people will peacefully assemble in the time,s they do 99% of the and we will not have a repeat of the events last night. >> ok. last two questions. amanda? amanda? reporter: hello. good afternoon, mayor. mayor bowser: good afternoon. reporter: two quick questions. the first, many noticed, understandably, a great police presence. i wonder, do you believe police at any point escalated action, the launching of teargas? ? i'm wondering if you are reviewing the contact -- the conduct of law enforcement. i have a second question about covid. thank you. mayor bowser: i think the chief addressed that. and always in operations like
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are, they are out -- they active action reviews and this will be no different. reporter: ok. as you intend to make -- do you intend to make follow-up of that review? when will we learn the insight of that review? mayor bowser: we are still responding. so it will not be today. do you have another question? reporter: yes. are you concerned about a possible spike, given people obviously crowding in groups? mayor bowser: yes, we are very concerned about it. i had a quick call with the health director this morning. we saw mass gatherings, basically. we've been working hard for the last 10 weeks on not have any mass gatherings. we saw some social distancing, some mask wearing. we have people from all over that were here.
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in cities across america, we had the same experience. i think as a nation, we have to be concerned about that. sophie? reporter: my question was what amanda just asked. so thank you for answering. mayor bowser: ok. thank you. chief, do you have anything to say about the general timing of after actions? police department uses force in the district of columbia, we do an investigation force.e use of that our internal affairs division will be conducting it for an event like this, as we did with the inauguration. the results of those investigations will be made public. the timing of that often is dictated by any potential lawsuits that may delay the release. the mayor is absolutely right. the public release of those documents will be determined by things that happen after today. it will not be pop -- a probably will not be in the near future. mayor bowser:
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>> watch c-span's daily unfiltered coverage of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic with briefings from the white house, congress, and governors from across the country. plus, joining the conversation on our live call-in program, washington journal. if you miss any of our live coverage, watch any time on demand at c-span.org/ coronavirus. monday night, on the communicators, former fcc commissioner susan ness talks about ways to reduce hate speech and extremism online. >> companies, when they find terrorists content, they will tag so that others don't copy it. and there's now much greater cooperation and we had even two years ago, but there still a tremendous amount needs to be done. watch the communicator

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