National Guard investigation finds lack of clarity of low-flying helicopter commands above DC protesters


Video captured by CNN showed a military helicopter over a group of protesters, using its propellers to kick strong wind and debris – a tactical display of force commonly used by the military in areas of fight abroad to chase the objectives of a specific area. Protesters responded by raising their fists in defiance.

The report was delivered to the headquarters of the CC of the National Guard, rank of major. Gen. from William J. Walker, who can accept or reject the recommendations or order other measures such as administrative sanctions, including letters of reprimand, officials said. The results could be released later this week. However, if Walker produces with administrative sanctions the people concerned have 10 days to respond, which could prompt the public to be released within the next week.

The report goes deep into the confusion of the night and the lack of clarity in how the commands were communicated by the commanders of the helicopter crew, officials said.

One of the causes of this confusion was the decision of the National Guard and respect for civil law – including federal agents from several agencies and the Metropolitan Police Department – all involved in the effort to control the protests , the official said.

A key issue addressed in the report is the person who approved the use of the helicopter and whether the individual aware that some type of waiver would be required to use it in a civil unrest, in this way, officials have said.

Secretary Ryan McCarthy’s military has widely approved the use of “air assets” to provide an aerial view of the dispute, officials said.

An official defense, with direct knowledge of the crew’s orders, told CNN the week of the incident that the helicopter had a “mission” in the course of “deterring” criminal activity, including riots and looting while keeping a general presence.

The report looks at the actions of the helicopter crew and also the task force commander at night, Brigadier General Robert Ryan, of the CC Guard, the two officials said.

“There is a lot of focus on authorities, processes and procedures” in the report, trying to explain what led to the decision to use helicopters, one of the officials said.

The CC of the National Guard, the first announced the investigation earlier this month, the day after the maneuver helicopter occurred. Defense Secretary Marque Esper said the next day that he directed McCarthy to investigate to determine what happened and why, and to report to me. ”

“I think when you’re landing that down town, it looks dangerous to me, right? But I need to know, I need to know more about what’s going on, “Esper said at the time.

President Donald Trump said later that week that he did not see low-level flying, military helicopters as a problem, despite the investigation and the requested Esper investigation.

“The problem is not very talented, flying at low altitude, the helicopter pilots want to save our city, the problem is that the arsonists, looters, criminals, and anarchists, who want to destroy it (and our Country )! Trump tweeted.

This story has been updated with background and background information.

CNN Veronica Stracqualursi, Austen Bundy and Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.


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