Did National Guard helicopters do more than “dust-off” DC demonstrators in 2020

Bullwinkle Badgers:  “Be loud … fly low over the crowds,” said one unidentified member of the Lakota crew, describing the mission parameters as they understood them. Apparently an “unidentified subordinate” modified the mission.

Last Summer did feature another stunt at St Johns Church to serve the Trump 2020 election bid, including an increase in conflict that rationalized federal intervention in Portland and served the framing of the 1/6 insurrection as an “antifa plot”.

The D.C. National Guard’s deployment of helicopters to quell racial justice demonstrations in Washington last summer, a chilling scene in which two aircraft hovered extremely low over clusters of protesters, was a misuse of military medical aircraft and resulted in the disciplining of multiple soldiers, the Army said Wednesday.

In an announcement, the Army said one helicopter “hovered under 100 feet” over the heads of people in the nation’s capital on June 1 as D.C. police and federal agencies worked to disperse crowds protesting police brutality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis days earlier.

An Army official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid, acknowledged that a UH-72 Lakota helicopter at one point hovered a mere 55 feet off the ground. A Washington Post investigation last year estimated the height was 45 feet.




Hemmed in by police on all sides, Camellia Magness feared that the military helicopter descending on downtown Washington might unleash a final assault on protesters.

It was June 1, nearly three hours after federal police in riot gear charged largely peaceful demonstrators as they gathered near the White House to protest after the killing of George Floyd. Magness and others had lingered downtown past a 7 p.m. curfew.

Military helicopters had been flying high overhead, seeming to track their movements. But shortly before 10 p.m., a Black Hawk swept low over protesters in Chinatown and held its position, producing gusts that snapped thick tree limbs and swirled the air with volleys of dust and broken glass, sending many running for cover in panic and confusion.

“I thought they were going to land,” Magness, 24, said, fearing soldiers would pour out and force protesters into waves of police.

On the streets, the maneuvers created wind speeds equivalent to a tropical storm, according to calculations by aerospace engineers who reviewed The Post’s data.

The two helicopters hovered over the protesters for a combined 10 minutes, first one and then the other, as protesters ran for cover.

The maneuvers — which did not appear to result in reported injuries — were a surreal coda to a day of demonstrations in Washington after the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis. The moves stunned human rights groups, military law experts and former pilots, who described them as a show of force more commonly used to disperse civilians in war zones.

D.C. Guard officials, who have launched an investigation into the incident, declined to discuss the helicopters’ altitude, whether senior officers ordered the low-flying tactic, whether the pilots received unclear guidance about their mission or whether the pilots were grounded amid a review.

“It was clear they were trying to intimidate us,” Magness said.


  • May 15, 2021
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