Maj.Adam DeMarco described such preparations – including officials’ failure to purchase a loud announcement device to warn protesters to disperse – in an August letter responding to follow-up questions after speaking to the House Committee in June The officers’ efforts earlier this month testified for natural resources across the federal government. DeMarco, who described himself as a senior national guard officer, ran for Democrat for Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018.
DeMarco wrote that he replied that the DC National Guard had no device and that, to the best of his knowledge, no such acoustic device was used in Lafayette Square. The next day, when he was looking for an acoustic device, the DC National Guard told him “they are no longer looking”.
Therefore, the US Park Service’s “diversion warnings” did not come from this system, but from a “red and white megaphone” that DeMarco saw, he wrote. In his personal testimony, he referred to the fact that even 30 feet from the megaphone, “warnings to disperse were barely audible and I could only make out several words” – while the front line of protesters was even further from the warning.
He also referred to a weapons transfer to the DC National Guard on the afternoon of the protest, which he later learned contained “approximately 7,000 rounds of ammunition”.
A Defense Department official who was briefed on the matter minimized DeMarco’s account, reported the Post, claiming that emails asking about specific weapons were routine in assessing available inventory. The official told the newspaper that the federal police had not acquired a heat emitter in the early days of the demonstrations in the city.
DeMarco attorney David Laufman denied this characterization on Wednesday, saying that “there is no” routine “asking about the availability of a heat jet that can be used against American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. “
When he appeared before the committee in June, DeMarco testified that tear gas was actually used – contrary to an official report by federal officials.
Conversely, acting chief of U.S. park police, Gregory Monahan, testified at the time that tear gas was not used, but his testimony suggested that he defined tear gas as a specific type of gas known as CS gas.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Gregory Wallace and Jamie Crawford contributed to this report.