National Guard in US Capital Ready to Help Police Protect Monuments, Pentagon Says
01:06 GMT 25.06.2020
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - About 400 US National Guardsmen in the nation's capital are prepared to help support the police in their mission to protect federal monuments from being destroyed by protesters, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Mitchell said.
"On 23 June, at the request of the Secretary of the Interior, and with the approval of the Secretary of Defence, the Secretary of the Army activated roughly 400 members of the DC National Guard to support the National Park Police in a civil disturbance and security role around the District", Mitchell said on Wednesday.
Mitchell added the National Guardsmen will support US Park Police at key monuments to prevent any defacing or destruction.
As of Wednesday evening, none of the National Guardsmen have been dispatched to actual monument locations, but they remain on standby, Mitchell went on to say.
The National Guardsmen will not be armed and will serve in a crowd management capacity to maintain closures and restricted areas, Mitchell said.
Earlier on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he will issue an executive order on protecting monuments and statues in the United States from vandalism by the end of the week. He made his comment in light of recent weeks of civil unrest - and riots - during which protestors have vandalized and, in some cases, destroyed monuments of American historical figures.
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