In a hearing on Washington, D.C’s proposed statehood Johnson urged Bowser to present a figure of estimated property damage in D.C. that took place throughout what he called the "summer rioting" last year.
"I know that we had one night of rioting in the district in the summer," Bowser said. She continued that Washington had "dozens of people arrested over the last year."
Johnson went on with his line of questioning in an effort to draw a parallel between law enforcement’s response to last summer’s demonstrations and the response to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. He asked Bowser if authorities under her jurisdiction used geolocation tools to find and arrest people who engaged in violent behavior last summer.
In early June of last year, Bowser established a curfew that remained in place for many days in an effort to control violence and property damage. Over 400 people were arrested in the first two weeks after the demonstrations started last summer, mostly for curfew violations, looting, or property damage, according to the Washington Post.
"We do not and will not allow the continued destruction of our hometown by people who are coming here to protest or by D.C. residents," Bowser explained when first announcing the curfew.
Isolated examples of violence and rioting proceeded during the summer. The Metropolitan Police Department tweeted on Aug. 13, 2020, that it had arrested 41 people for felony rioting and assault after overnight property destruction and arson.
In late August 2020, D.C. authorities made over two dozen more arrests in connection with violent clashes between police and demonstrators. Back then, Bowser said outside "agitators" were responsible for the violence.
"I can speak for the Metropolitan Police Department," Bowser stated. "We do not permit any riotous behavior, whoever is conducting it, and we have made arrests in both cases – in cases where we had riotous behavior, and that is a specific behavior, here on the Congress’ grounds and on city streets."
During the same hearing, then-chief Peter Newsham described a change in the protests.
"Prior to last night, the demonstrations around the tragic death of George Floyd in our city were largely peaceful and done so in a safe and respectful way without destroying city property or harming people. Unfortunately, yesterday, that changed," said Newsham.
Washington, D.C., and other major U.S. cities underwent months of demonstrations after Floyd’s death last May. In some cases, there was rioting and looting.