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The Washington, D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter ripped Mayor Muriel Bowser’s pre-recorded address to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, accusing her of being tone-deaf and hypocritical.
“@MayorBowser Hyprocrite morning to you! You literally gave your speech where u had DEFUND MPD paved over. 41 Innocent Protesters where [sic] just beat, peppered sprayed & arrested last week. All Charges DROPPED. You or Paint don’t keep us safe. #WeKeepUsSafe #DefendBlackLives #DefundMPD,” the BLM D.C. chapter wrote on Twitter.
.@MayorBowser Hyprocrite morning to you!You literally gave your speech where u had DEFUND MPD paved over.41 Innocent Protesters where just beat, peppered sprayed & arrested last week.All Charges DROPPED. You or Paint don’t keep us safe. #WeKeepUsSafe #DefendBlackLives #DefundMPD pic.twitter.com/ybk48XFQVq
— Black Lives Matter DC (@DMVBlackLives) August 18, 2020
Bowser’s convention speech was videoed in front of Black Lives Matter Plaza, which she unilaterally proclaimed earlier this year, ordering city workers to put up new street signage and authorizing the painting of “Black Lives Matter” on the street facing the White House.
The mayor’s address, which was only a few minutes in duration, focused on the family of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police in May, and President Donald Trump’s federal response to rioting in the district earlier this summer.
“He sent troops in camouflage into our streets. He sent tear gas into the air, and federal helicopters, too,” Bowser read from a script. “I knew if he did this to D.C., he would do it to your city or your town. And that’s when I said, ‘Enough.’”
In fact, Congress is responsible for the security of the District of Columbia, the seat of the federal government, where the city of Washington is located. It is governed by a locally elected mayor and city council, but Congress retains the power of veto.
But while Bowser’s criticism of President Trump and his administration played well at the DNC convention, others took to social media to criticize her for deploying the Metropolitan Police Department against rioters and violent demonstrators.
“The mayor criticized the president for sending tear gas into the air. Her police department fired chemicals at protesters at the peak of demonstrations, prompting a man to usher dozens into his home and offer milk to wash their eyes,” Washington Post reporter Fenit Nirappil tweeted.
The mayor criticized the president for sending tear gas into the air. Her police department fired chemicals at protesters at the peak of demonstrations, prompting a man to usher dozens into his home and offer milk to wash their eyes https://t.co/scNgtvB6PP https://t.co/pCqRDpnoWV
— Fenit Nirappil (@FenitN) August 18, 2020
“Muriel Bowser, a protege of Mike Bloomberg, just presided over the kettling and jailing of 41 protesters at #BlackLivesMatter plaza. She has handed DC over to the wealthy developers who fund her. Her #DemConvention appearance was another hollow stunt,” added journalist Max Blumenthal.
Muriel Bowser, a protege of Mike Bloomberg, just presided over the kettling and jailing of 41 protesters at #BlackLivesMatter plaza. She has handed DC over to the wealthy developers who fund her. Her #DemConvention appearance was another hollow stunt. https://t.co/cslF4clgFv
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 18, 2020
Bowser endorsed short-lived Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg during the primaries but on Tuesday offered support for the party’s presumptive ticket, Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, while calling on party members to unite around them.
She also asked viewers to “live” the words painted on the street behind her and to “undo the laws and systems that have codified racism for far too long.”
Previously, Bowser was criticized by BLM and other Marxist groups for refusing to support their goal of defunding and eliminating police departments throughout the country.
During a June interview with NPR, Bowser pushed back on the idea that the MPD should be defunded.
“We fund the police at the level that we need it funded. And my [city] council has my current budget proposal in front of them to give every neighborhood in Washington, D.C., the police support that they need,” she explained. “And so my budget doesn’t fund it a penny more than we need and certainly not a penny less.”
Asked if she would reconsider her request to bolster police funding in the next budget, Bowser said, “Not at all.”
“What our budget proposal, and I can’t speak for other departments, but they fund the people that we need,” she said. “And certainly we wouldn’t want the people on our forces not to have the proper training or equipment that makes for better community policing.”
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