Washington D.C. will increase police presence within the city limits as the Nation’s Capital prepares for protests related to upcoming Supreme Court rulings on abortion and guns.
Per ABC News on Friday, Robert Contee, the Metropolitan Police Chief, said in a press conference that his department is in a “posture of preparedness.”
“We are increasing our presence to have coverage in neighborhoods and our downtown areas, which includes the activation of civil disturbance unit platoons,” Contee said alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser. “In addition, we are working closely with our law enforcement, government and community partners to ensure that all of these events are peaceful and our neighborhoods are safe.”
Countee also encouraged attendees of said events to refrain from bringing firearms.
“If you’re coming to enjoy our beautiful city, individuals should not think to bring firearms into our beautiful city,” he said. “We need to help keep the peace in our city – leave the law enforcement and the firearms, leave that to the Metropolitan Police Department. That’s our responsibility.”
The increased police presence comes as the country awaits two highly-anticipated Supreme Court rulings related to gun control and abortion rights that are expected to be delivered sometime this month. On Saturday, thousands of protesters took to the streets for the March for Our Lives protest, which demanded action on gun control after a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers. The shooting had occurred just 10 days after a White Supremacist walked into a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York and opened fire, killing 10 Black people.
The increase also comes after 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh on Wednesday. Two U.S. deputy marshalls detained Roske after he was seen stepping out of a taxi cab in front of Kavanaugh’s house in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He was armed with zip-ties, a pistol, and multiple other weapons and was allegedly disgruntled about the court’s upcoming rulings.
In a statement, the FBI Washington field office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia reaffirmed the need for peace.
“We will not tolerate violence, destruction, interference with government functions, or trespassing on government property,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D’Antuono and U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves.
Mayor Bowser added in her press conference on Friday that Washington D.C. won’t “live in fear.”
“We’re going to rely on each other but also on our government who knows how to support large-scale events and are going to take every precaution that we can, but we’re also asking each other to look out for our neighbors,” she said.