Police in D.C. are preparing for the outcome of the trial involving the officer accused of causing George Floyd’s death, which sparked nationwide protests calling for police reform last summer.
On Friday, the D.C. police said in a statement that while no long-term street closures are anticipated, intermittent closures and emergency no-parking restrictions are possible downtown, and that people looking to drive to or through there should think about other methods and routes.
In addition, a spokesman for the D.C. police union said on Thursday the department is fully activated, and starting Monday, all members will work 12-hour shifts without days off.
The spokesman said the schedule is indefinite and doesn’t have an end date. D.C. police confirmed the department’s plans in an email to WTOP.
“In anticipation of potential First Amendment activities related to the outcomes of the Derek Chauvin trial, the Metropolitan Police Department will be fully activated with members on 12-hour shifts starting Monday, April 19, 2021 until further notice,” a D.C. police spokesman said in a statement.
The police on Friday added a reminder that carrying a firearm is prohibited within 1,000 feet of any First Amendment activity — even if you have a concealed-carry permit.
There will be a visible police presence in the District during that time.
Homeland Security Director Chris Rodriguez said D.C. put in a request for National Guard troops a little over a week ago.
“We’re requesting, on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Department, some assistance at traffic locations downtown, as well as some enhanced security for our Metro stations in the downtown corridor, as well as a quick reaction force that can be deployed anywhere in the city in the event of large scale protests,” he said. “So again, all precautionary measures in all requests for support from the National Guard.”
Rodriguez added that National Guard troops will not be armed.
“The only authority that can arm the National Guard is the president. And so we did not request any armed assistance for Guard support,” he said.
The request has not yet been approved.
Chauvin, a former officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, chose not to take the stand as testimony as his murder trial ended Thursday — invoking his Fifth Amendment right not to testify, The Associated Press reported.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Monday.
WTOP’s Will Vitka contributed to this report.