Large bodies of National Guard troops are now withdrawing from Washington D.C as their services are deemed as no longer necessary,
days before Army officials said they came close to requesting active-duty troop support.
Ryan McCarthy, Secretary of the Army, announced that thousands of Guard troops would discontinue enforcement in D.C. after 45,000 people peacefully protested the unjust death of George Floyd. This reversal comes at stark contrast to May 31 protests that turned violent close to the White House.
The formal announcement came hours after President Trump tweeted Sunday that he has ordered that the troops return home.
“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control,” Trump said.
Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of D.C. National Guard stated that approximately 5,240 Guard personnel had taken up active duty in D.C., with 1,500 Guardsmen aiding roadblocks and managing crowds to prevent trespassing on White House grounds, said Maj. Gen. William Walker, commander of D.C. National Guard. The influx of protests came on the evening of May 31 where protests quickly turned violent, resulting in looting, damaging monuments, and infiltration of barricades. Five soldiers have injuries being reported due to head injuries caused by bricks being thrown by demonstrators according to McCarthy. The attacks led to one soldier experiencing a severe concussion, he added.
McCarthy stated that the plan is to have “all of these units to full departure no later than tomorrow at 5 p.m.,” Guard personnel from
Utah, Indiana, Mississippi, and Florida will be departing to return to their home states around 5 p.m. Sunday, McCarthy said. Guard troops from Maryland and New Jersey began departing yesterday. D.C National Guard will continue to support federal and metro police through Sunday. Guard members from Ohio, Idaho, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee will return home starting May 8.
The National Guard of D.C. will continue to support federal law enforcement and police officers in Washington D.C. if required.