Washington, D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham fielded questions on Monday regarding the Million MAGA March that took place on Saturday. Newsham said he was “impressed” with how his officers handled the conflicts and condemned the violence itself.
“The worst of it, for me… was to see our country having those kinds of physical disputes over an election,” Newsham said in response to a reporter’s question. “We attribute that to other countries across the world, but you don’t see that here in the United States, so that was the worst of it for me.”
Newsham also claimed that metropolitan police prevented more conflicts than arose during the weekend, but disclosed scant details about known incidents that took place.
He announced that police confiscated eight firearms – seven handguns, and one weapon that was “in between a rifle and… a very unique weapon.”
Around 20 people were arrested during the violence, with one victim stabbed and four police officers injured during the proceedings. Charges ranged from assault to weapons possession.
No arrest was made related to the stabbing, with the man stabbed several times in the back, Newsham told reporters. Police had no leads as to who the suspect might be, and witnesses at the scene were said to have been “uncooperative” and did not provide much information.
Footage from the night showed a black-clad counter-demonstrator brandishing a switch-blade and heckling Trump supporters before a Proud Boy member approached from behind and hit her across the head with a helmet.
The woman was wearing protective headgear herself, but the blow knocked her unconscious. She was seen lying in the street with blood pouring from her mouth.
Despite such violent scenes, Newsham says that his officers performed “outstanding work under difficult circumstances.”
“You always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Newsham said.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser made no comment on the weekend’s events, allowing Newsham to answer all related questions.