The Justice Department has sent special operations teams from the Bureau of Prisons to support the Trump administration’s response to protests in Washington, D.C., and Florida.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson confirmed that they had deployed Crisis Management Teams in response to the protests. The teams include Special Operations response teams, “which are highly trained tactical units capable of responding to prison disturbances, and providing assistance to other law enforcement agencies during emergencies.” Officers from the Bureau’s Disturbance Control Teams, which “specialize in crowd control scenarios,” have also been deployed.
Speculation about the presence of special response teams from the agency grew online as residents and reporters noted the presence of law enforcement officials wearing tactical equipment placed around the city, many of whom refused to identify which agency they worked for.
In one photo shared by MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake, officers with shields labeled “corrections” and a shirt with an apparent Federal Bureau of Prisons Disturbance Control Team patch formed a perimeter preventing protesters from approaching the White House.
Twitter users also noted officers wearing uniforms with logos for the Bureau of Prisons Special Operations Response Team stationed by the Washington Convention Center on K Street.
“Per the request of the Attorney General, the BOP has dispatched teams to Miami, Florida, and Washington, D.C.,” the bureau said.