President Donald Trump criticized Washington, D.C.’s police department and called for arrests after officers stood by as the District’s only outdoor confederate statue was torn down and defiled by protesters right outside their headquarters.
And protesters just toppled the Albert Pike statue in DC pic.twitter.com/gEzJm0OYjd
— Perry Stein (@PerryStein) June 20, 2020
Calling the actions “a disgrace to our country,” Trump blasted the Metropolitan Police Department on Twitter for their inaction as approximately 100 protesters gathered in Judiciary Square on Friday night around 11 p.m. to pull down a statue of Brigadier General Albert Pike, according to The Hill.
“The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn,” Trump tweeted shortly after videos started circulating online. “These people should be immediately arrested.”
Trump also tagged D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in his tweet. The president previously called her “incompetent” after she demanded the withdrawal of the National Guard and other military personnel from D.C. amid the disruptions.
The incompetent Mayor of Washington, D.C., @MayorBowser, who’s budget is totally out of control and is constantly coming back to us for “handouts”, is now fighting with the National Guard, who saved her from great embarrassment…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020
Protesters unfurled a “Defund The Police” banner at the statue’s base, covered it in graffiti and proceeded to pour gasoline and light it on fire once the statue toppled to the ground. Police arrived around 11:30 p.m. to extinguish the flames, according to WUSA9.
— Ike Ejiochi (@IkeEjiochi) June 20, 2020
The Pike statue is just one of the latest to be pulled down by protesters on the Juneteenth holiday that marked the 155th anniversary since a federal order to liberate slaves reached Galveston, Texas. (RELATED: Celebrating The 155th Anniversary Of Juneteenth)
It was one of 18 civil war monuments that have stood in Judiciary Square since 1901, according to WUSA9. The D.C. City Council indicated on Twitter that they have been trying to remove the statue since 1992.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said she wants the statue to remain in a museum for its story to be told, according to WUSA9.
“This is the united states — we don’t destroy our past, we learn from our past.”