Dozens of National Guard troops from South Carolina were seen checking out of their Washington, D.C., hotel shortly before President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday he was giving the order to withdraw guard forces from the nation’s capital.
I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control. They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2020
Trump ordered guard troops into D.C. to “dominate” the streets after some protests over the killing of George Floyd turned violent. The city’s mayor called on Trump last week to withdraw outside forces amid days of largely peaceful protests.
Newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House is full of peaceful protesters and has the communal feeling of a street fair during Sunday protests.
Federal law enforcement officers and National Guard members who had been out in force for a week have largely withdrawn and have been replaced by city police in Washington, D.C., who have blocked off adjacent roads to give demonstrators space.
The jingles of ice cream trucks are mixing with protest chants. Protesters are posing with the new sign the city painted in big yellow block letters on 16th Street that reads “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”