WASHINGTON — Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requesting the removal of all members of the Ohio National Guard from the city immediately.
Bowser requested the removal of “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington D.C. immediately.”
The mayor said that the Ohio National Guard is just one of the forces brought into the District of Columbia without her knowledge and not at her request.
DeWine said earlier in the day that 100 Ohio National Guardsmen were sent to the city at the request of the Secretary of Defense in order to assist in controlling demonstrations against police violence and racial injustices.
“I commend the guardsmen and women from Ohio for rapidly mobilizing to answer the President’s request. However, we have increasingly seen in recent days their presence is unnecessary and may be counterproductive to ensuring the protests remain peaceful,” Bowser wrote to DeWine.
Ohio @GovMikeDeWine: I request that the Ohio National Guard be removed from the District. Without my knowledge and request, they were brought to our streets.— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) June 5, 2020
While I appreciate your service, we ask that you respect the right to self-governance of 705,000 tax-paying Americans. pic.twitter.com/7MAn0P81pG
Bowser also issued letters to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to request the removal of the New Jersey National Guard and to President Donald Trump to request all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence be withdrawn from the city.
The mayor, stating the right to self-governance, informed Trump that she had ended the state of emergency in the city related to the demonstrations and that she plans to coordinate with federal partners and city police to continue to ensure the safety of demonstrators.
“Furthermore, I continue to be concerned that unidentified federal personnel patrolling the streets of Washington DC pose both safety and national security risks,” Bowser wrote to Trump. “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.”
On Friday, DeWine announced that an Ohio National Guardsman was removed from the mission in Washington D.C. after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered the guardsman expressed white supremacist ideologies.