Moscow: During the June protests against police brutality and racism in Washington sparked by the killing of African American man George Floyd, federal officials stockpiled ammunition and sought devices that could disperse the crowds near the White House, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Thursday, citing Army National Guard major Adam D. DeMarco.
Nationwide protests started after Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25. On June 1, law enforcement officers aided by the District of Columbia National Guard cleared the area in front of the White House, including Lafayette Park, so President Donald Trump and a group of aids could walk to a nearby church that was set on fire by protesters the day before. Law enforcement was criticized for using force, including tear gas, to clear the protesters, but the White House spokesperson denied that tear gas was used.
According to the media outlet, DeMarco reportedly testified as part of an investigation into the use of force by police and military forces in the US capital. The Department of Defence reportedly authorized the transfer of about 7,000 units of ammunition to the DC Armory.
DeMarco noted that on June 1, a US military police officer sent an email to the District of Columbia National Guard, asking if the unit had a Long Range Acoustic Device or a microwave-like weapon called the Active Denial System, which could make people feel like their skin is burning. The device was reportedly not delivered to Washington.
The major added that protesters did not resort to violence and no tear gas was deployed during the demonstrations.