In preparation for Sunday’s “Unite the Right 2” rally at the White House, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the District’s public safety plan, which includes the signing of a Mayor’s Order that allows the Bowser Administration to activate the District’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
“As the nation’s capital, we host millions of visitors each year. Fortunately, very, very few share the views that will be expressed in Lafayette Park on Sunday. Washington, DC is a city of love, inclusion, and diversity, and – like millions of Americans across the nation – we know that the people who are coming here to profess hate and sow division are wrong,” said Mayor Bowser. “This weekend, and every day going forward, we will ensure that the world knows that no matter how much attention these people demand, that they will never represent the values of our city or our nation.”
The event will have firearms completely prohibited, including for DC concealed carry permit holders. News2Share’s Ford Fischer asked asked DC Police Chief Newsham how law enforcement plan to enforce a total ban on firearms in the absence of any weapons checkpoints.
“Our officers are trained to see and recognize the characteristics of an armed gunman. We do that on a daily basis in the District of Columbia. I can tell you that our officers will be on high alert for anyone who may be carrying a firearm in the District of Columbia, particularly in the demonstration areas on Sunday,” Chief Newsham told News2Share. “If you come to Washington DC with an illegal firearm I can tell you we have a police department that is very adept at getting those firearms out of our community.”
According to a press release: “The level two activation of the District’s EOC allows local, state, and federal agencies to work together to coordinate the necessary supports for all critical incident responses. Ahead of this weekend’s events, residents and visitors are being encouraged to sign up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov to receive important and emergency updates from DC Government.”
“Several District agencies, regional partners, and federal agencies are staffing the District’s EOC to support the law enforcement response,” said DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Director Dr. Christopher Rodriguez. “Residents and visitors should sign up for AlertDC and be prepared if they see something, to say something to law enforcement.”
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is coordinating with U.S. Park Police (USPP) and other District and Federal partners to deploy appropriate resources and personnel for the event.
“The Metropolitan Police Department facilitates safe demonstrations on a daily basis,” says Chief of Police Peter Newsham. “Our intentions are to continue to value the first amendment rights of everyone in the District of Columbia without compromising the safety of participants or bystanders.”
MPD says will enforce the following road closures on Sunday, August 12, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.:
· 15th Street, NW, from Constitution Avenue to K Street, NW
· 17th Street, NW, from Constitution Avenue to K Street, NW
· 18th Street, NW, from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
· 19th Street, NW, from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
· 20th Street, NW, from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
· 21st Street, NW, from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
· 22nd Street, NW, from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
· 23rd Street, NW, from Virginia Avenue to Washington Circle, NW
· H Street, NW from 17th Street to 15th Street, NW
· I Street, NW from 17th Street to 15th Street, NW
· K Street, NW from 17th Street to 15th Street, NW
· Connecticut Avenue, NW, from H Street to I Street, NW
· Vermont Avenue, NW, from H Street to I Street, NW
· G Street, NW, from 17th Street to 23rd Street, NW
· F Street, NW, from 17th Street to 23rd Street, NW
· E Street, NW from 17th Street to 23rd Street, NW
During the press conference, Mayor Bowser was joined by:
· the Metropolitan Police Department;
· DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services;
· DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency;
· DC Office of Human Rights;
· the Mayor’s Office of Religious Affairs; and
· the United States Park Police.
Filmed by Ford Fischer
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