National Guard troops will start withdrawing from Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday, nearly a week after he deployed federal forces to the capital city.
The move comes after several days of sustained peaceful protests in the city against police brutality, a demonstration movement that started in late May with the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota.
Protests have spread nationwide and Saturday saw mass demonstrations in major cities around the country, including outside the White House, though the president has been seeking to downplay their significance and size.
“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control.
“They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed,” Trump said on Twitter.
“Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated!” he added.
Mayor Muriel Bowser had demanded last week that Trump withdraw the troops from the city, saying incidents of rioting and looting had ended.
Under the constitution, Washington is not a state and the federal government has a large amount of sway over the district.
Bowser had the area outside the White House renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, after federal forces there used tear gas against mostly peaceful protesters.