Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday that protesters “have the right to exercise their First Amendment right but not to destroy our city,” after the city experienced its second night of protests and some looting Saturday.
The district “saw a level of just destruction and mayhem among some that was maddening,” Bowser said in an interview on NBC.
The DC Fire Department extinguished two vehicle fires in the area north of the White House last night, as well as several small fires in the downtown area as well as some protesters defacing some buildings with graffiti.
Bowser urged President Trump to stop sending “divisive tweets that are meant to harken back to the segregationist past of our country.”
Some context: On Saturday Trump wrongly accused Bowser in a tweet of not allowing the district’s Metropolitan Police Department to help the Secret Service keep control of the situation with protesters in Lafayette Park the night before.
That claim was then refuted by the US Secret Service who said in a statement that the Metropolitan Police Department was present.
In the same thread of tweets, Trump said that protesters “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen,” if they breached the fence outside the White House.
In a press conference yesterday, Bowser noted how Trump’s reference to the “ominous dogs” was “no subtle reminder” of segregationists who would attack African Americans with dogs.
Bowser said Sunday that the city is working on clean-up, and is working with law enforcement “to ensure calm in our city.”