Military personnel in Washington, D.C., at least some of whom were not wearing identifiers, extended the perimeter around the White House on Wednesday, blocking off access to LaFayette Square, where police clashed with protesters earlier this week.
A police force lined up near the corner of 16th Street and I Street, standing face to face with about 200 demonstrators in 90 degree heat in the middle of the afternoon. Businesses and shops in the vicinity boarded up their windows to prevent looting and vandalism.
The law enforcement personnel viewed by The Hill did not wear any identifiers. They were dressed in mixed riot gear, with helmets and face masks, shields and guns loaded with crowd control agents.
Back outside the White House. Today the perimeter has been pushed back another half block. Federal law enforcement of some kind, but they won’t identify themselves, and all insignias and name plates have been removed. pic.twitter.com/q5dmdMgkLV
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) June 3, 2020
The Hill reached out to the Department of Justice, Pentagon, White House and Park Police to ask what agency the military personnel came from. The Park Police said the police force was not theirs.
Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a law professor at the University of Dayton, said Armed Forces personnel are generally required to wear identifiers.
“As a general rule, members of the Army (Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserves) must wear an identifiable uniform,” Hoffmeister said. “The folks you see without an identifiable uniform are primarily federal law enforcement who don’t have the same requirements.”
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