The Trump administration will reportedly deploy specially trained federal officers to protect American monuments during the Fourth of July weekend.
The Department of Homeland Security will dispatch the units to Seattle, Portland and Washington D.C., after ongoing civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd has carried on for more than a month, according to a memo obtained by Fox News.
“The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend has the potential for increased disruptive activity at specific locations across the country that could threaten our personnel and the Federal facilities and property they protect,” according to the memo, written by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. “DHS will be forward leaning in preparing to protect federal facilities and property.”
The DHS is tapping its Rapid Deployment Teams (RDTs) from the Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), which include police who are trained to handle crowd and riot control.
It is not immediately clear how many officers will be sent to each city and with what equipment they will be provided to protect statues from being vandalized.
Additional teams will be at the ready to be deployed to other locations should the officers been needed elsewhere, Fox News reported.
The effort is the latest in a multi-faceted approach President Trump has taken to aggressively clamp down on American protesters who have defaced or toppled statues with ties to slavery or racism across the country
Trump last week signed an executive order promising the pursual of the harshest federal punishments possible for those caught damaging statues.
The order also allows for the federal government to withhold funding to local law enforcement agencies if they’ve “failed to protect public monuments.”
Trump himself shared images of protesters suspected of attempting to tear down a monument to President Andrew Jackson nearby the White House earlier last week.
Protesters had targeted the slave-owning seventh president, whose Indian Removal Act forced the violent, sometimes deadly displacement of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral homes on millions of acres in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida.
Trump had followed up defending the statue, calling it “magnificent.”
To further target protesters, Attorney General Bill Barr announced Friday he was forming a new government task force focusing on “anti-government extremists.”