Arlington, VA

Update at 9:15 p.m. — Arlington police have been ordered to leave D.C., County Board Chair Libby Garvey says.

Earlier: If you were watching cable news coverage of the fiery clashes near the White House last night, you might have spotted “ACPD” on the helmets of some of the riot police.

Your eyes did not deceive you. On Sunday, Arlington County Police began assisting with the law enforcement response to the protests, which have been mostly peaceful during the day but have turned destructive after dark for three straight nights.

“ACPD’s Civil Disturbance Unit responded to a mutual aid request by United States Park Police for assistance maintain peace and order on federal park land,” department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed, in response to inquiries from ARLnow. “ACPD began providing support [Sunday].”

Police departments often provide mutual aid to one another in the D.C. area, with its mix of local, state and federal police forces. More routine mutual aid calls involve searches for suspects, often involving K-9 officers or helicopters — for instance, U.S. Park Police’s Eagle 1 helicopter. More rarely, mutual aid is requested for significant incidents, like shootings or standoffs.

Park Police have been attempting to defend Lafayette Square, north of the White House, amid mass, nationwide protests that have followed the death of George Floyd at the hands of since-fired Minneapolis police officers, one of whom is now facing a murder charge.

It appears that Arlington officers are back on the streets of D.C. today, as the District imposes a 7 p.m. curfew in an effort to prevent more destruction and violence. Earlier today tipster noticed a convoy of Arlington public safety personnel departing from Courthouse, where ACPD headquarters is located.

“Arlington police dressed in riot gear just loaded into vans and are leaving the Courthouse area with a fire department bus and an armored car under police motorcycle escort,” the tipster said.

Screenshot via MSNBC/YouTube

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