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Park Police Handle National Socialist Demonstration

National Mall and Memorial Parks

National Park News

On Saturday, April 19th, the United States Park Police handled a permitted demonstration by the National Socialist Movement. The group earlier secured a special use permit to exercise their First Amendment rights, with plans to assemble on the grounds of the Washington Monument, then march to the United States Capitol for a rally. Counter demonstrations were expected and a security plan was developed to minimize the possibility of violence between the permitted group and any counter groups. The Park Police coordinated extensively with the Metropolitan Police and the United States Capitol Police, since the event crossed jurisdictional lines. Prior to the arrival of the main group, a large group of counter demonstrators arrived on the grounds of the Washington Monument wearing masks and attracting considerable attention. The group spotted two members of the National Socialist Movement and began verbally and physically assaulting them. Park Police officers responded and escorted the pair out of the area after the counter demonstrators surrounded and assaulted members of the Park Police with pepper spray. One counter demonstrator struck an officer across the back with a pole while he was attempting to arrest one of the assaulting counter demonstrators. A total of six arrests were made, with charges filed against them for assaulting police officers and weapons violations. Members of the main group arrived later on an escorted bus and began their march. The Park Police Horse Mounted Unit provided considerable assistance in protecting the marchers while en route to the Capitol.



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