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 on Saturday.
The District “saw a level of destruction that was just and chaos 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 who defaced some buildings with graffiti.
Bowser urged President Trump to stop sending “divisive tweets that purport to recall our country’s segregationist past.”
Some context: On Saturday, Trump wrongly accused Bowser in a tweet of not allowing the DC Metropolitan Police Department to help the Secret Service maintain control of the situation with protesters in Lafayette Park the night before.
That claim was contested by the United States Secret Service, who said in a statement that the DC police department was present.
In the same thread of tweets, Trump said the protesters “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs and the most sinister weapons I have ever seen,” if they violated the fence outside the White House.
At a press conference yesterday, Bowser noted that Trump’s reference to “sinister dogs” was not “a subtle reminder” of segregationists who would attack African Americans with dogs.
Bowser said Sunday that the city is working on the cleanup and is working with the police “to ensure calm in our city.”