The nation’s capital was rocked by widespread unrest over the weekend, with rioters attacking businesses and even setting fire to a historic church near Lafayette Square.
However, Breitbart reported that the situation began to change on Monday after President Donald Trump took control of the city’s security from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and National Guard troops were deployed in the area.
According to Breitbart, Attorney General Bill Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Esper personally visited police officers in the area as darkness fell.
Local D.C. radio outlet WTOP reported that Bowser, for her part, had tweeted her disapproval of the new approach, saying that it was “shameful” that “federal police used munitions on peaceful protesters in front of the White House.”
Law enforcement tactics adjusted
Journalists gave multiple accounts of how the evening in D.C. was unfolding, and many noticed that law enforcement had grown significantly more proactive in terms of controlling the movement of demonstrators. Yet it seems that not all residents were supportive of what was being done and the manner in which it was being accomplished.
Breitbart reported that in a tweet, Washington Post reporter Derek Hawkins stated that a homeowner in the area invited more than 100 protesters to hide from authorities inside his residence.
In another tweet from NBC News producer Haleigh Hoffman, one of those being harbored in the home was quoted as saying, “There’s no way for us to get out of this house and not get arrested. There’s no way.”
NBC News later reported that the man, Rahul Dubey, said, “I don’t think there was even a choice in what I did, to be honest… It’s the same that you would if it’s a storm, and you would have let anyone into your home, I know that.”
Washington Post contributor Hannah Natanson noted the contrast between how things looked on Monday and what she had observed on previous nights, according to Breitbart.
“City seems mostly quiet now, just jam-packed with law enforcement who are standing silent guard over empty streets,” she observed in a tweet. “Protesters appear dispersed.”
A subsequent tweet read: “Hundreds of law enforcement are herding remaining protesters — many trying to smash things as they go — by every means possible: on foot, on bikes, in cars, with flash grenades, in the circling helicopter.”
Others remarked critically on the use of military helicopters to scare off looters, with New York Times reporter Thomas Gibbons-Neff claiming that one chopper caused a large tree branch to fall, potentially posing a serious risk of injury to those in the immediate area.