State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement on Wednesday expressing “concern” over a Tuesday incident in Washington, D.C., where members of the security detail for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assaulted a group of protesters.
Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech. We support the rights of people everywhere to free expression & peaceful protest. pic.twitter.com/MEm4jSmCXV
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) May 17, 2017
The spokeswoman disclosed that the Cabinet department would be “communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.”
Nauert’s condemnation of the attack contrasts with a non-answer from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who, just minutes earlier, punted on commenting on the issue during a press gaggle on board Air Force One. Spicer merely deferred to the State Department’s statement.
Hours earlier, the police chief of Washington, D.C., Peter Newsham, underlined that his department is going to “pursue everything that’s within our legal power to hold the folks that were responsible for their actions.” However, Chief Newsham also revealed that “there could be a diplomatic immunity issue.”
The law enforcement official noted that during the altercation, “eleven people and one police officer were injured. Nine of those who were injured were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and released.”
[image via screengrab]
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