The State Department issued a strong protest to Turkey a day after visiting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security guards and supporters kicked and beat protesters in a scuffle in downtown Washington.
The brief but bloody altercation — the second time in 14 months that a visit by Turkey’s president led to a clash with demonstrators opposed to his authoritarian policies — threatened to escalate into an international incident.
“We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms,” the State Department said in a statement. “Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech.”
Police said two people were arrested and 11 others, including a police officer, were injured. Police said they are working with the State Department and Secret Service to identify Erdogan guards who they believe instigated the melee.
The Secret Service said it was working “to aggressively pursue accountability for those involved in yesterday’s protests.”
In a statement, Peter Newsham, police chief for the District of Columbia, complained of a “brutal attack on peaceful protesters.”
The State Department has remained silent about the almost daily routine Police State executions of the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, and people of color here in the U.S.
Source: LA Times