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WSJ Editorial Board: Congress intervenes as DC officials ignore campus calls for help removing unlawful protests

WASHINGTON-The Wall Street Journal The Editorial Board today discussed how the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and Republican lawmakers are right to raise concerns about the Metropolitan Police Department’s inaction on requests from George Washington University officials to help remove radical, anti-Semitic and unlawful protesters encamped on the university campus.

Most important excerpts:

“Universities have needed law enforcement support to remove illegal anti-Israel camps from campus, but what if the police don’t come? That’s what’s happening at George Washington University, where the District of Columbia police are refusing to help the school restore order on campus.

“On Thursday, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Pamela Smith said there had been ‘no violent behaviour, no confrontations’ and so police would not be coming to campus. “We’re giving people the opportunity to have freedom of speech, and that’s what we’re seeing now.”

‘Is she even watching? In a letter to the school community on Sunday, GW President Ellen Granberg disagreed. From the moment the students initiated an “illegal and potentially dangerous occupation of GW property,” they were “in direct violation of multiple university policies,” she wrote.

(…)

“One wonders if DC police are refusing for fear of offending the city’s anti-police politicians. Morale within the DC force is low, and in the spring of 2023 the District had fewer officers than at any time in fifty years.”

(…)

“Congress, which has ultimate authority over the district, has noticed. In a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R., N.C.) and James Comer (R. Ky.) said that if police “refuse to exercise their authority to assist GWU in ensuring the safety of its students and teachers Congress shall be bound to exercise its legislative powers to this end.’”

Read the full main article here.

Last week, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) sent a letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser and the head of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Pamela Smith expresses concern that the District of Columbia MPD is refusing to heed campus administrators’ calls for help and to enforce the law. Lawmakers on the committee also met with George Washington University leadership and toured the anti-emetic, unlawful encampment on the university’s campus. The committee will hold a hearing tomorrow to seek answers from Mayor Bowser and MPD Chief Smith about the city’s response to campus protests at George Washington University.

READ MORE: Oversight Committee Republicans: DC Officials Must Take Action Against Pro-Hamas Camp and Restore the Rule of Law