Sen. Rick Scott & Sen. Roger Marshall Call on D.C. Mayor Bowser to Answer for Refusal to Provide Law Enforcement to Protect Jewish GW Students

May 2, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Rick Scott and Roger Marshall, members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, wrote a letter to Chairman Gary Peters demanding a hearing, with testimony from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, following reports that the Mayor deliberately declined a direct request from George Washington University officials for D.C. police support with the unlawful encampment of anti-Israel protesters who had illegally occupied areas of campus and are threatening Jewish students. The Mayor’s refusal, prioritizing potential optics over holding lawless individuals accountable, is emblematic of her failed, soft-on-crime approach that has caused massive crime spikes in our nation’s capital.


As GW, Columbia, Yale, USC, Northwestern and colleges and universities across the nation are swarmed with antisemitic, hateful mobs threatening Jewish students’ safety, Senator Scott visited GW this week to meet with Jewish and pro-Israel students to share his disgust with these terrorist-sympathizing mobs and the failure of college and university leadership on some campuses to take necessary action to protect Jewish students’ safety and stop the rise of unlawful university encampments that have led to horrific antisemitic verbal and physical attacks.


Read the full letter HERE or below.


Dear Chairman Peters:


We write following the alarming reports about the Office of District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) declining a direct request from officials at George Washington University to assist in restoring lawful order after days of unlawful, antisemitic and disruptive demonstrations that occupied parts of the campus. 


Despite being repeatedly warned about their unlawful trespass by university officials late Sunday night, the anti-Israel demonstrators belligerently breached police barricades and entrenched themselves in the University Yard area of campus. It has now been reported that, after receiving a direct request from university officials to help remove the trespassing demonstrators, the Mayor’s office has allowed this lawlessness to continue by refusing to act and defying requests for police assistance. 


To be clear, this was not a case in which Mayor Bowser’s office or MPD allowed the university’s administrators and authorities to manage their own affairs on campus. Rather, this was Mayor Bowser’s office declining a direct request from the university to help restore order against a group of trespassers unlawfully and disruptively occupying areas of campus, and threatening Jewish students, after being repeatedly told by university officials to disperse. The fact that the office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C. reportedly declined this direct request for law enforcement assistance out of concern for “the optics” of trespassing protesters violently resisting police is beyond the pale. Mayor Bowser’s apparent belief that this criminal activity should be tolerated is emblematic of the larger failings of the D.C. government’s soft-on-crime approach to law enforcement that has led to dramatic spikes in property crime and violent crime in the nation’s capital. 


As Members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, [I/ we] urge you to schedule a hearing and require the attendance of Mayor Bowser and the MPD Chief of Police to address this alarming lapse in effective law enforcement at the earliest opportunity. The committee should also invite Jewish students and members of the faculty at George Washington University to testify and share their experiences with the antisemitic protests on campus. Our committee has the jurisdiction and responsibility to conduct effective oversight over the affairs of the District of Columbia, and we cannot sit idly by as the nation’s capital descends into lawless chaos. 





Senator Scott has been adamant about protecting students at American colleges and universities who continue to be threatened by terrorist sympathizers calling for the eradication of Jewish people and the destruction of Israel. Senator Scott is fighting to pass his and Senator Tim Scott’s Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act. This bill would rescind federal education funding for colleges and universities that peddle antisemitism or authorize, fund or facilitate events that promote violent antisemitism. 


Additionally, Senator Rick Scott joined Senators Bob Casey and Tim Scott to introduce the Antisemitism Awareness Act. The bill will help address antisemitic sentiment and action on college campuses—which has been rising across the nation for years and spiked in the wake of Hamas’ terrorist attack on October 7, 2023—by requiring the U.S. Department of Education to consider the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws. Read more HERE.