Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Democrat from Washington, D.C., said Tuesday that about 70 percent of the arrests stemming from violent protests were of individuals who did not live in the city and said she is “worried about this country descending into a race war.”
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Bowser got into a public clash with the U.S. attorney from the district over the few amount of arrests from the protests that actually turn into prosecutions. She said that many of the protesters arrived in the district “armed for battle” and looked for police officers to confront.
“What we’re certainly not going to do is stand by and allow outside agitators to come to our city to distract us from the work of DC residents,” she said. “We know they came together to create havoc.”
Republicans have laid the blame squarely on Democrat leadership—including Bowser—for only now coming to terms with the violent protests that have been burning in cities for weeks. Joe Biden, in a speech in Pittsburgh, condemned the violent protesters for deluding the message of those sincerely looking for social justice.
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Biden’s critics say the only reason he is focusing on the unrest now is that Democrats appear to be taking a hit in the polls.
Since the Republican National Convention, D.C. has resembled cities like Portland and Kenosha. Videos emerged online showing agitators squaring off with police officers, shining flashlights into residents’ homes in the city and starting fires.
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“We can’t connect any protester to a single group or funder or organization. Though I don’t think it would be a big leap to say the type of organization and resources they’re bringing to bear are organized and funded,” she said. “We have a very contentious election approaching and we all want to be best prepared to keep our city and our country safe.”
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Peter Newsham, the top cop in the city, said the department is trying to determine if the unrest was a result of an “organized, funded attempt to create violence,” according to the New York Post. He said that his officers have been pelted with “bricks and rocks and urine.”
Todd Starnes, the host of the “Todd Starnes Show,” has been a vocal critic of the protests and the lack of response of Democrat leadership. He mentioned that President Obama has said that he intended to fundamentally transform the country, and now there protesters in Oakland chanting in the street, “Death to America.”