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Statement from Chief Pamela A. Smith

Saturday, January 13, 2024

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

“Today, the District of Columbia welcomed many visitors who came to make their voices heard.

The right to peacefully protest is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and the Metropolitan Police Department has long supported those who visit our city to demonstrate safely. However, violence, destructive behavior, and criminal activities are not tolerated.

While a majority of today’s demonstration remained peaceful, there were instances of illegal and destructive behavior in Lafayette Park, including items being thrown at our officers. We are supporting our partners at the United States Park Police as they investigate and hold those found responsible accountable for their actions.

I extend my gratitude and sincere appreciation to the members of the Metropolitan Police Department, as well as our local, state, and federal partners, for doing their part to protect our community today and every day.”