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Home / US / The whistleblower said the White House protests: The Federal Reserve stored ammunition and sought “heat ray” devices before clearing Lafayette Square

The whistleblower said the White House protests: The Federal Reserve stored ammunition and sought “heat ray” devices before clearing Lafayette Square

Major Adam DeMarco of the Washington, DC National Guard told lawmakers that defense officials are looking for crowd control techniques deemed too unpredictable to be used in theaters and have authorized the transfer of approximately 7,000 rounds of ammunition to the Washington, DC Armory in protest The use of force by the police racially injustice has put Washington in a difficult position.

In a sworn testimony shared with The Washington Post this week, DeMarco provided his statement as part of an ongoing investigation into the use of force by law enforcement and military officers against DC protesters.

On June 1

, federal forces pushed the protesters away from the park opposite the White House, covered the streets with tear gas clouds, fired stun grenades, ignited smoke bombs, and pushed the protesters with shields and batons, causing criticism. People’s response was extreme. The Trump administration argues that military officers are responding to violent demonstrators, who have been lighting fireworks, setting fires and throwing water bottles and stones at police officers.

But DeMarco’s statement contradicts the government’s statement that protesters have never used tear gas and that the protesters were warned to disperse. This is a legal requirement before the police move into the crowd. His testimony also gave people a glimpse of the early days of the protests, the federal forces and other equipment and weapons they sought, which lasted more than 100 days of protests in the country’s capital.

DeMarco was the whistleblower. He was the most senior Washington National Guard officer on the ground that day and served as the liaison between the National Guard and the US Park Police.

A Department of Defense official downplayed DeMarco’s allegations when reporting the incident, saying that emails inquiring about specific weapons were routine inventory checks to determine available equipment.

The Department of Defense, the US Army and the Washington, DC National Guard did not answer specific questions about the ammunition and its intended use.

The chaos that broke out on the evening of June 1 was broadcast on split-screen TV in front of thousands of viewers before President Trump strode across the empty park to make a pilgrimage to the Bishop’s Church of St. John. He delivered a speech and took a picture with the Bible. Souvenir.

US Park Police Commissioner Gregory Monahan (Gregory Monahan) testified that the protesters have received clear warnings to disperse them through remote acoustic devices. But DeMarco told the councillors that it was impossible because there was no such equipment at the scene.

Before noon on June 1, the senior military police of the US Department of Defense stationed in the Washington area sent an e-mail to officials of the Washington, DC National Guard. It asked whether the unit was equipped with long-range acoustic equipment (also known as LRAD) or microwave-like weapons, called Active Denial System (Active Denial System), which was designed by the military to make people feel within its range His skin is burning invisible light.

This technology is also called “heat ray”, and its development purpose was to disperse a large number of people in the early 2000s, but it was shelved due to concerns about its effectiveness, safety, and ethical use in humans.

Pentagon officials are reluctant to use the device in Iraq. According to the New York Times, the Trump administration weighed in on the use of the device by immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in late 2018. This idea was rejected by Kirstjen Nielsen, then Secretary of Homeland Security, on the grounds that it was humanitarian.

But in the copy of DeMarco’s e-mail, the chief military police officer of the National Capital Region wrote that ADS equipment “can provide our troops with capabilities that they currently do not have, and are able to contact and engage with potential opponents at a distance. Go beyond small arms in a safe, effective and non-lethal manner.”

The email continued: “ADS can immediately force individuals to stop threatening behavior or leave by applying a directed energy beam, which generates intense heat on the surface of the skin. This effect is overwhelming and causes immediate rejection by the target individual. “

According to officials from the Department of Defense, in the early days of the protests in Washington, DC, the federal police ultimately failed to obtain a heat ray device or LRAD.

DeMarco said that if there is no LRAD device, the device can be used to shout to the crowd, and the park police use a hand-held red and white loudspeaker to issue an order to disperse the crowd.

The law and the court’s ruling required the police to repeat to the demonstrators, clearly warn the police officers of their intention to escalate, and allow people enough time and means to disperse peacefully.

DeMarco told members of Congress that he was standing about 30 yards from the announcer, but could barely hear the order. DeMarco said that the crowd further away from the loudspeaker personnel did not seem to have heard the warning.

Protesters, journalists and humanitarian aid volunteers there that day repeatedly stated that they had never heard a warning before the police started moving towards the crowd. On foot and horseback, the protesters retreated as the explosion blew clouds of smoke and chemicals into the air, and the officers shot rubber pellets into groups of retreating protesters.

Monaghan has stated that the violence of the protesters prompted his agency to clear the area before the Mayor of DC’s 7 p.m. curfew. The curfew was taken in response to robbery, vandalism and arson during the eve of the demonstration, and it adopted extremely radical tactics.

Monahan also told members of Congress in July that although DeMarco’s testimony indicated that no such equipment was being used, the Park Police had issued three warnings to “use remote acoustic equipment” in accordance with the agreement.

The US Park Police did not respond to a request for further comment this week.

DeMarco first appeared on the House Committee on Natural Resources in late July, but then followed up at the end of August and gave more specific answers to legislators’ questions about ammunition and equipment used by law enforcement agencies. Congressional staff from the House Natural Resources Committee responded to his answer in writing this week and shared it with The Post.

He told lawmakers that he felt compelled to come forward to testify because he was “deeply disturbed” by discovering the incident in Lafayette Square. His lawyer David Laufman said that DeMarco hopes that lawmakers will continue to investigate the federal response.

Laufman said: “Anyone in the Department of Defense will call American citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights as potential opponents, and it is deeply disturbing to even consider using ADS on the streets of the U.S. capital, and calls for further investigation. “

DeMarco also testified that on June 1, the hiding place for the M4 carbine assault rifle was moved from Fort Belvoir to the DC Armory. In the following days, ammunition from Missouri and Tennessee also arrived.

By mid-June, approximately 7,000 rounds of 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition had been transferred to the DC Armory, DeMarco said.

He did not specify the purpose of the ammunition, and the Washington, DC National Guard did not answer questions about arms transfers.

In late June, Congress began investigating the tactics used by federal law enforcement officers to clean up protesters near Lafayette Square.

Monahan and DeMarco testified on the same day in July, when Monahan stated that the area around Lafayette Square had been cleared on June 1, so that the construction staff could build higher fences than the temporary roadblocks that had closed the area. The following night, the park service building was burned down.

DeMarco told lawmakers that he had served in a combat zone where he spent a lot of time assessing various threats, but his demonstrators near the White House did not feel threatened at any time “or thought they were violent.” .

He said: “Based on my observations, these demonstrators-our fellow Americans-are peacefully expressing their First Amendment rights.” “However, they have suffered unwarranted escalation and excessive use of force.”

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