DC Police Have a Hard Time Explaining Why They’re Allowing the Pro-Palestinian Protest to Continue

News & Politics

A little more than a week ago, George Washington University officials asked the Washington, D.C. police to clear the protest encampment that was interfering with classes and threatening Jewish students. 


At 3:00 AM on Saturday morning April 26, the DC cops were lined up just outside the campus and ready to move in. But then the order came to “stand down.” According to the Washington Post, the police were “worried about the optics of moving against a small number of peaceful protesters.” 

GWU is on private property. The caretakers of that property requested that the police remove trespassers. They refused because it would look bad in the media.

“I think here in the District of Columbia, we allow people the opportunity to have freedom of speech, and that’s what we’re seeing right now. There has been no violence, no violent behavior, no confrontations,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Pamela Smith said.

It’s debatable whether students chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” isn’t confrontational.

Other students were calling for the deaths of administrators and board members.


Florida Senator Rick Scott, speaking at a pro-Israel rally on campus, said, “What these protesters are doing is despicable. It’s disgusting, it’s un-American. Everybody has a right to protest, but you don’t have a right to trespass. And you can’t spew hatred.” 

The Hill:

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) has called Bowser and Smith to testify before the committee next week over the ongoing protest. Comer’s request to grill officials follows the report from The Washington Post stating that D.C. police refused to clear the encampment despite the school calling for it. 

“The House Oversight Committee is deeply concerned over reports indicating the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department rejected George Washington University’s request for help in removing the radical, antisemitic, and unlawful protestors occupying the campus and surrounding public lands,” Comer said.

Republican Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Byron Donalds (Fla.), and Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.) visited the protest encampment and called on city officials to respond to the request from GWU administrators and help the school.

“That being said, the mayor has a responsibility to support George Washington. The encampment is now trespassing. That is what the university president and the administration has said: You are trespassing on GW. They’ve asked for support from the mayor. Mayor Bowser doesn’t want to come and support them. She needs to do her job,” Donalds said. 


The cops are worried about the “optics” of being forced to remove protesters. After the students called for the deaths of faculty and administrators, you can hardly term the protests “peaceful.” The DC cops should grow a pair and ignore the PR problem.

Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said, “I would strongly encourage the mayor to have the police do their job and ensure that there’s at the very least no trespassing. Peaceful protests are fine, but trespassing is against the law.”

Not, apparently, in Washington, D.C.

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