The National Guard has opened an investigation after a medical helicopter with Red Cross markings was seen menacing protesters on Monday night in a low-altitude “show of force.”
DCist reports: “Onlookers noticed one of those helicopters had Red Cross markings, a symbol that usually denotes emergency aid or humanitarian assistance rather than military force. … In response to a question about the use of the medical helicopter, which appeared to be a UH-72 Lakota, Walker’s office said in a statement that the he has ‘directed an investigation into a June 1 low-flying maneuver conducted by one of our rotary aviation assets.’ The statement continued: ‘Our highest priority is the safety of our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who support civil authorities as they perform their duties. This is our home, and we are dedicated to the safety and security of our fellow citizens of the District and their right to safely and peacefully protest.'”
Geoffrey Corn, a former Army lawyer and professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, told The Washington Post: “This was a foolish move. The symbolic significance of the Red Cross is pervasive: It denotes a ‘noncombatant’ function of the armed forces.”
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