Friday, February 17, 2017

Betsy DeVos is now being guarded by U.S. Marshals - The Washington Post

Betsy DeVos is now being guarded by U.S. Marshals - The Washington Post:

Betsy DeVos is now being guarded by U.S. Marshals

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The U.S. Marshals Service says they are now providing security for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, after a handful of protesters blocked her from entering a D.C. middle school.
The move is unusual for the Education Department, which typically has a team of civil servants guarding the Secretary, and for the marshals, law enforcement officers who are generally responsible for protecting federal judges, transporting prisoners, investigating fugitives and protecting witnesses.
The last cabinet member protected by marshals was a director of the Office of National Drug Policy, according to Lynzey Donahue, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service. That office ceased to be a cabinet-level position in 2009.
Donahue said that for security reasons, she could not provide any information about the number of marshals assigned to DeVos, nor whether they are providing round-the-clock protection. It is unclear how long the arrangement will last.
Education Department officials did not respond to repeated requests for information about why they have called on the marshals or what the security team normally assigned to cover the secretary is doing now.
Federal policy allows the Education Department to pay other agencies for services, but it is unclear whether the department is reimbursing the marshals for the cost of deploying a security team.
Marshals began providing security for DeVos on Monday, Feb. 13, the first weekday after DeVos encountered protesters outside the District’s Jefferson Middle School Academy, Donahue said.
The demonstration was mostly peaceful, but several protesters attempted to block a government car from entering the street in front of the school, and a few others tried to bar DeVos from entering the building. Video circulated by WJLA, the local ABC television affiliate, showed a member of the department’s security team steering DeVos away from the protesters, guiding her by the arm as she returned to her government vehicle.
One of the protesters who blocked the secretary appeared to have touched her, according to a video circulated by Fox5DC. D.C. police arrested one person for assaulting a police officer.
The incident was a sign that DeVos entered office as a deeply polarizing figure after winning confirmation only by the slimmest of margins. A Michigan billionaire, she spent three decades lobbying for private school vouchers, charter schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools. While her supporters say she is a bold reformer, her detractors worry DeVos aims to undermine public schools by redirecting taxpayer dollars to private and religious schools.
Friday’s protest was not the first for the team responsible for protecting the education Betsy DeVos is now being guarded by U.S. Marshals - The Washington Post:

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