The Trump administration will reportedly deploy federal officers specially trained to protect U.S. antiquities during the weekend on July 4.
The Department of Homeland Security will send the units to Seattle, Portland, and Washington, DC, after civil unrest over police killing George Floyd for more than a month, according to a memo. Acquired by Fox News.
According to the memo, written by Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, “The coming weekend of July 4th could lead to increased sabotage activity in specific locations across the country which could threaten our employees, facilities, and federal property that they protect.” “DHS will lean forward in preparing to protect federal facilities and property.”
The Department of Homeland Security is taking advantage of the Rapid Deployment Teams (RDT) from the American Community Protection Working Group (PACT), which includes police trained to handle crowds and riot control.
It was not immediately clear how many officers would be sent to each city and what equipment would be provided to them to protect the statues from vandalism.
Fox News reported that additional teams would be ready to be deployed to other locations if officers were needed elsewhere.
The effort is the latest in a multi-faceted approach President Trump has taken to suppress American demonstrators who have mutilated or brought down statues related to slavery or racism across the country.
Trump last week signed an executive order promising to follow up on the toughest federal sanctions possible for those caught in harmful statues.
The order also allows the federal government to suspend funding to local law enforcement agencies if it “fails to protect public milestones.”
Trump himself shared pictures of protesters suspected of trying to demolish a memorial to President Andrew Jackson near the White House earlier last week.
The demonstrators targeted the seventh president who owned slaves, who forced the Indian Removal Act to violent displacement, sometimes fatal, to tens of thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral homes on millions of acres in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida.
Trump continued to defend the statue, describing it as “wonderful.”
In order to target the demonstrators, Attorney General Bill Barr announced on Friday that he is forming a new government task force focusing on “anti-government extremists.”