Army activates 400 Guard troops to protect monuments in D.C.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt requested the Guardsmen to bolster the National Park Police, said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Craig Clapper, a D.C. Guard spokesman. The Guardsmen were posted at an armory awaiting directions for when and where they will be used, Clapper said.

Some Guardsmen who were mobilized weeks ago had transitioned back to supporting efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic but will now return to the civil disturbance mission, Clapper said.

The troops may carry face shields for personal protection but did not have tear gas or pepper spray as of Wednesday afternoon, Clapper said. U.S. Marshals were similarly told Wednesday they should prepare to help protect national monuments across the country, according to an email directive viewed by The Washington Post…

One emerging flash point is the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park, a federally controlled space in Northeast Washington. The statue depicts a freed slave kneeling at the feet of President Abraham Lincoln.

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