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Home / US / The Army National Guard major said federal congressmen called for heat rays and stored ammunition before clearing the DC protest

The Army National Guard major said federal congressmen called for heat rays and stored ammunition before clearing the DC protest



Major Adam DeMarco described these preparations, including the failure of officials to acquire a strong announcement device to warn protesters to disperse, in an August letter responding to follow-up questions after testifying before the Committee. of Natural Resources of the House in June efforts of officers earlier this month. DeMarco, who described himself as one of the senior National Guard officials at the scene, ran as a Democrat for the Third District of Maryland Congress in 2018.

NPR first reported the news on the contents of DeMarco’s letter.
In the letter, DeMarco wrote that the head of the military police of the Department of Defense of the National Capitol Region emailed him and others on the day of the protests asking if the DC National Guard had ”
; a long-range acoustic device, which can blow up sound walls at protesters, or “active denial systems,” which feature a directed energy beam that provides a feeling of intense heat to the surface of the skin. “.

DeMarco wrote that he responded by saying that the DC National Guard had no device and that, to his knowledge, no acoustic device was used in Lafayette Square. When he examined to get the acoustic device the next day, the DC National Guard told him “they were no longer looking for him.”

Therefore, the U.S. Park Service’s “scatter warnings” did not come from this system, but from a “white and red megaphone” that DeMarco saw used, he wrote. He referred in his testimony in person that even 30 meters from the megaphone, “warnings of dispersal were barely audible and I could only discern several words,” while the front line of the protesters was even more so. away from the warning.

He also referred to an arms transfer to the DC National Guard on the afternoon of the protest which he later learned contained “approximately 7,000 rounds of ammunition.”

Federal agents faced criticism for using chocolates and rubber bullets to clean up peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square to protest institutionalized racism and police brutality after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police. The move sparked a cry from lawmakers and public figures, including former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, with Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser criticizing the incident as an attack on protesters.
Law enforcement dispersed the crowd just before President Donald Trump’s controversial photo at a nearby church, where he held a Bible after declaring himself president of “law and order.” The incident has come to shape Trump’s stance against widespread national unrest, which he has pledged to crack down on a key principle of his re-election campaign.

A Department of Defense official reported on the matter that minimized DeMarco’s account, the Post reported, stating that emails consulting specific weapons were routine for assessing available inventory. The official also told the newspaper that federal police failed to acquire a heat ray device during the first days of demonstrations in the city.

DeMarco’s attorney, David Laufman, discussed that characterization Wednesday, saying “there is nothing” routine “in investigating the availability of a heat jet to use against U.S. citizens exercising their primary rights. amendment “.

In his appearance before the committee in June, DeMarco stated that tear gas was in fact used, in contrast to the official account of federal officials.

“I felt eye and nose irritation and, based on my previous exposure to tear gas during my training at West Point and later in Army training, I recognized this irritation as effects consistent with CS or “Tear gas,” DeMarco told the panel, “And later that night, I found worn-out tear gas containers on the street nearby.”

By contrast, the acting head of U.S. parks police, Gregory Monahan, testified at the time that no tear gas was used, but his testimony suggested that he defines tear gas as a particular type of gas called gas CS.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Gregory Wallace and Jamie Crawford contributed to this report.


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