Washington mayor asks Trump to remove federal forces

The mayor of the US capital city, Washington, has formally asked President Donald Trump to remove federal forces from the district.

The forces were deployed amid protests over police brutality, which in some instances descended into rioting.

Mayor Muriel Bowser noted in her letter to the president that there were no fresh arrests in recent days of sustained protests and asked that the troops leave “our city.”

The mayor has come across as being subtly supportive of the protests and more overtly has been pushing back against federal heavy-handed tactics in the city.

Washington is not a state, under the constitution, and has a unique status. It was granted “Home Rule,” though the federal government still has influence and power.

Federal property throughout the city is under the Federal Government’s control.

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The federal troops have at times seen the most intense clashes with protesters demonstrating over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by police in Minnesota, including using tear gas outside the White House.

Among the federal forces were poorly identified members of various Justice Department agencies, including the Bureau of Prisons riot control teams.

The incidents have renewed the debate over statehood for the district. Bowser posted a tweet in favour of the move this week. Republicans in Congress are opposed.

“Stand with DC now… or later wonder how it happened to your state,” Bowser said on Twitter, referring to federal overreach.

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