The Pentagon confirmed the deployment of 400 national guard members to protect statues and monuments in Washington, DC. This action comes in response to protestors attempt to tear down the President Jackson statue that stands in Lafayette Square in front of the White House. Members of the guard are at the DC Armory, according to LTC Chris Mitchell, a spokesman for the Pentagon.
While protests have calmed down in certain cities, they remain active and sometimes violent in Washington. Monday night, the Jackson statue was vandalized, and protestors got as far as tying ropes around it before they were stopped by U.S. Park Police officers. The U.S. Park Police officers will continue to be stationed throughout the Capital to protect monuments and statues, and the National Guard member will be there as support. Mitchell confirmed they will not be armed, but will offer “uniformed deterrence.” Along with the Jackson statue, protestors vow to remove the Emancipation Statue. The Emancipation Statue’s funds were given solely by freed slaves in 1867 to celebrate President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
The administration’s choice to protect DC’s monuments and statues comes in sharp contrast to many states across the country, who have seen historical figures’ statues vandalized or destroyed. President Trump tweeted after the announcement, “Law and Order,” and announced today he expects to sign the executive order to protect monuments and statues by the end of the week. President Trump confirmed in the Rose Garden that Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson’s statues will not come down while he is president, although he believes the Democrats wish that they would.
Following weeks of protests, violence, and civil unrest, Republicans scrambled to move forward a police reform bill. Today, Democrats blocked a procedural vote to allow the JUSTICE Act to go to the Senate floor for debate and amendments. Senator Tim Scott, the lone African-American individual in the Senate, condemned this action, stating on the Senate floor, “I finally realized what the problem is- the actual problem is not what is being offered. It is who is offering it.”