Pentagon chief spokesman Johnathan Hoffman said in a statement that the troops were sent from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York. No active-duty forces have been deployed in Washington to respond to the protests, which have gone on for five consecutive nights in response to the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.
“Active duty elements are postured on military bases in the National Capitol Region but are not in Washington, D.C.,” Hoffman said in a statement. “They are on heightened alert status but remain under Title X authority and are not participating in defense support to civil authority operations.”
In some instances, the Defense Department was counting on troop support from those states before the governors intervened.
“I can confirm that personnel from the NY National Guard were expected to move to DC last night, but permission was withdrawn by the governor,” Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday morning.
During his daily press briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that New York’s National Guard was completely focused on the state.
“I don’t know what requests they’ve gotten, but I can tell you this, I wouldn’t grant any request to send National Guard out of the state at this time because I want them in this state in case we need them,” Cuomo said.
Another Pentagon official told CNN that support was expected from Delaware as well, but troops were diverted to Wilmington.
Democratic Gov. John Carney’s office confirmed to CNN that it received a request for troop help but decided against it because of the needs in Delaware, but also said the President’s posture played a role in the decision.
“Frankly the rhetoric out of the White House seemed like it had the potential to provoke additional unrest. For those reasons, the governor was not comfortable with members of the Delaware Guard assisting in the response. Delaware is not sending members of the Guard to Washington at this time,” said Jonathan Starkey, Carney’s deputy chief of staff.
In Virginia, an official with a direct knowledge of the deliberations said Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, made the decision not to send troops after consulting with Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser and her office. Bowser’s team told Virginia officials that they had not requested any additional assistance. On CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning, Bowser confirmed her office had nothing to do with any request for help.
“We didn’t request any assistance, DC police did not request any assistance from our neighbors,” Bowser said. “And we do have throughout the national capital region arrangements to assist each other if we — if there is ever a mass event that requires…