District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said she is worried about a “race war” in the U.S. because of violent clashes between protesters and police in her city this summer.
“What I’m worried about is this country descending into a race war,” Bowser said at a news conference Monday. “And I’m worried about the continued incitement of violence from leadership who should be focused on bringing our communities together. … Our police and peaceful protesters will be safer when we come together as a community and tamp down this Black-versus-White rhetoric.”
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Bowser blamed “outside agitators … armed for battle” for some of the violence.
“We can’t connect … any protester to a single group or funder or organization. Though I don’t think it would be a big leap to say the type of organization and resources they’re bringing to bear are organized and funded,” Bowser said. “We have a very contentious election approaching and we all want to be best prepared to keep our city and our country safe.”
Protesters were in Washington over the weekend for the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
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But violent clashes also erupted in the nation’s capital between protesters and police, especially after the conclusion of the Republican National Convention on Thursday night outside the White House.
On Monday night, Bowser pleaded with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to ramp up prosecutions of those arrested by police for violence at protests, saying she is “dismayed” that prosecutors aren’t bringing cases.
“MPD [Metropolitan Police Department] does their part to protect residents and visitors,” Bowser wrote on Twitter. “We need our prosecutors to do theirs.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia pushed back against her claim.
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“Mayor Muriel Bowser’s public statement today … is patently false and serves no purpose other than to pass blame and foster innuendo,” the office said in a statement. “Since the protests began, this Office has never turned down a single case for prosecution in which there was sufficient evidence to support probable cause.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.