“What we saw yesterday -- a violent attack on a peaceful demonstration -- is an affront to DC values and our rights as Americans,” Bowser said in a statement on Wednesday, May 17.
According to NRT the mayor added that the Metropolitan Police Department will continue investigating the incident and will work with their federal partners to ensure justice is served.
An anti-Erdogan protest gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, May 16, as the Turkish president visited the U.S. capital to meet U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
Caught on video, Erdogan’s bodyguards, some of them wearing suits, could be seen running towards the protest before then proceeding to punch and kick protesters, including those who had already fallen to the ground.
Police said the violence injured 11 people, including a Washington police officer, and led to two arrests.
The anti-Erdogan protesters say they were demonstrating peacefully across the street from the Turkish Ambassador's residence when they were attacked by a group of men.
An eyewitness described to CNN how he saw a Turkish bodyguard attacking a Kurdish protester. “An American police [officer was] trying to stop him hitting [the protester] with a stick,” the witness added.
The U.S. State Department also issued a statement expressing concern over the attack on the peaceful demonstration.
"Violence is never an appropriate response to free speech, and we support the rights of people everywhere to free expression and peaceful protest," the statement read. "We are communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms."
According to a State Department official, the Turkish security staff that had engaged in the violence appeared to be a mix of Turkish embassy and Erdogan security staff.
Reporter’s code: 50101