EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday issued a statement defending the deployment of CBP personnel in the nation’s capital as a response to the civil unrest that followed the alleged murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said the agency has deployed hundreds of personnel who are currently serving in the region:
CBP has also deployed aerial assets to aid in public safety and provide “situational awareness for our law enforcement partners on the ground.”
“CBP’s deployment of manpower and aerial assets is about supporting the efforts of our federal, state and local partners, not about carrying out CBP’s immigration enforcement mission. This is about the preservation of life and safety,” CBP tweeted Sunday.
In a tweet Monday afternoon, Morgan said, “These ‘protests’ have devolved into chaos & acts of domestic terrorism by groups of radicals & agitators. @CBP is answering the call and will work to keep DC safe.”
Late Monday, Morgan also tweeted photos of Border Patrol agents patrolling landmark across Washington, D.C.
“@CBP is currently securing national monuments and memorials across DC. Last night, some of them were defaced by rioters. We’re working hard to prevent it from happening again, and we’re proud to protect them,” Morgan tweeted.
CBP is sending officers, agents
The U.S. Park Police and Secret Service have had dozens of officers out in riot gear in Washington for the last few nights, in addition to the Metropolitan Police Department.
The unrest started in Minneapolis, where a police officer, Derek Chauvin, put his knee on the neck of George Floyd — who was handcuffed — for several minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.
Chauvin has been charged with murder. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Tuesday that prosecutors were working as fast as they can to determine if the three other officers at the scene should be charged, too. All four have been fired.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.