National Guard troops and federal law enforcement were deployed across the nation’s capital without the consent of the city—a reminder of the unique relationship between Washington, D.C., and the federal government.
Latest in Policing in America
The protests ignited by the police killing of George Floyd have put a spotlight on the legal doctrine of qualified immunity—one of many structural factors that makes it difficult to hold police officers accountable for wrongdoing.
Americans have taken to the streets in dozens of cities to protest the death of George Floyd, police brutality, and systemic racism. President Trump has focused his attention on looting and violence, which he calls “domestic terror” and insisted governors “dominate” the protestors. The gang talks about the role of the military and the Insurrection Act, the role of Bill Barr and the Justice Department, and Trump’s use of other federal forces as America heads into another day of public demonstration amidst a still raging pandemic.
The potential for expanded interior Homeland Security law enforcement activity raises questions about whether components of the department being called upon are subject to appropriate training, preparation and accountability.
Dr. Rashawn Ray is a David M. Rubenstein fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He's also an associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he directs the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR). He is a scholar of, among other things, police-civilian relations and has done a lot of work on police-involved killings. He joined Benjamin Wittes to discuss the mechanisms of police violence, what causes it, what can be done to address it and reduce it, and the role of race in this problem.
The numerous layers of this crisis to which Congress must respond grow daily, and some have more barriers to bipartisanship than others.
We bring you a special episode, recorded jointly with Ben Wittes as an episode of the Lawfare Podcast. Ben, Bobby and Steve explore the threatened invocation of the Insurrection Act by President Trump, the president’s existing use of the D.C. National Guard, the president’s assertion that he will designate Antifa as a “domestic terrorist organization” and the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters out of Lafayette Square Park in order to facilitate a presidential photo op.
The president is threatening to designate Antifa as a terrorist organization. On Monday, he appeared to have ordered a tear gas attack on peaceful protesters near the White House in order to stage a photo op in front of a local church. And he has called out troops in Washington, DC, and threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act.