June 2, 2020 | Press Release

Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau Responds to June 1 Protests and Police Action

WASHINGTON, DC – Following her condemnation last night of President Trump’s statements about “law and order,” and his deployment of federal law enforcement officials to gas peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park, Nadeau made the following statement this morning regarding local police action at 15th Street, NW and Swann Street, NW, just outside Ward 1.

"Last night, protestors just south of U Street exercising their First Amendment Rights were detained by law enforcement. Although I am continuing to gather information, thus far we have no reason to believe the actions of the protestors were anything but peaceful.To my knowledge, residents were detained for no other reason than being in violation of the curfew.Let me be clear, tear gas should never be used against peaceful protestors exercising their first amendment rights. 

Our residents deserve the opportunity to protest the grave injustices against the African American community in our country. Unfortunately, rather than encouraging people to stay off the streets, last night’s 7pm curfew instead provided a legal path for quashing peaceful demonstrations and an opportunity for escalation toward residents. We must immediately lift the curfew or, at the very minimum, revise it to include all daylight hours.

As I said in a statement yesterday, we must focus on demilitarizing our police forces across the country. Today I add to that, we must end the use of tear gas to diffuse first amendment activities.I am calling for a full investigation of law enforcement action involving tear gas and rubber bullets against protestors.

I’ve been in touch with colleagues and other officials this morning, and I’ll continue investigating the events that occurred.

To those peacefully protesting, I’m with you. To the Washingtonianswho opened up their doors to protestors, thank you. As a reminder, today is the last day to vote in the primary in DC. Your voice matters now more than ever."