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Statement from Chief Pamela A. Smith

Friday, November 17, 2023

Please attribute the following statement to Chief Pamela A. Smith, Metropolitan Police Department:


“Today, our city once again hosted many visitors who came to exercise their First Amendment rights.


During the protest, our officers observed several individuals defacing property with paint. Three individuals were arrested and charged with Defacing Public Property. The property damage was limited to one section of Union Station, and clean-up crews are working to restore the building. There were no major incidents reported.


The District of Columbia has a long and proud history of peaceful First Amendment assembly, and the Metropolitan Police Department handles hundreds of protests, demonstrations, and other events every year. We will continue to support those who choose to protest peacefully and safely, and we will continue to hold accountable those who commit criminal acts while in our city.


I extend my gratitude and sincere appreciation to the members of the Metropolitan Police Department, and our local, state, and federal partners for helping us keep the District of Columbia safe for everyone.”