PHOTOS: SC National Guard assisting with peaceful protests in DC

South Carolina News

U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers with the South Carolina National Guard support the District of Columbia National Guard in the nation’s capital June 4, 2020, directing traffic and assisting with crowd control during protests. When the South Carolina National Guard is activated in response to providing support to protests, it is in order to assist with maintaining citizen safety and peace and to deter violence. The mission of the South Carolina National Guard in D.C. is to support the District of Columbia National Guard service members assisting local law enforcement with crowd control, general security, and patrols for continued public safety and critical infrastructure security. When the South Carolina National Guard is activated for these missions, it is not intended to deter citizens from peacefully protesting, rather it is a means to help support an environment where citizens feel safe to exercise their rights and freedoms. The South Carolina National Guard will provide assistance in maintaining citizen safety and peace at protests in support of the District of Columbia National Guard for as long as needed. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Jaros, South Carolina National Guard)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – Since arriving in Washington, DC on June 2, the SC National Guard has been supporting local law enforcement in “crowd control, general security, and patrols for continued public safety and critical infrastructure security, including the national monuments.”

While DC National Guard and National Guard members brought in from other states can be deputized to act in a police capacity, the role of SC National Guard has reportedly focused largely on maintaining order.

According to the SC National Guard, their duties have included traffic control and road closures to ensure the safety of protesters marching in the streets, and serving as security at protests “to assist with maintaining citizen safety and to discourage violence.”

The SC National Guard reported “many positive interactions with protesters and others visiting the monuments,” including “assisting one protester who approached them to ask for ice and water for another participant who was overheated.”

Army Major General Van McCarty, adjunct general for SC, said that the purpose of the mission is to “help the American people exercise their right to protest.” The main goal is to “help support an environment where citizens feel safe to exercise their rights and freedoms.”

Last week, Air Force General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy visited with SC National Guard troops assisting in DC.

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