On Thursday the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) issued warrants for the arrest of 14 individuals involved in a May 16 assault on a group of people protesting Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington, D.C.
Twelve Turkish security officials are among those wanted by MPD. Including the two other civilians MPD has issued warrants for and the four civilians the MPD has already arrested, a total of 18 people are facing charges related to the attack. Most are facing charges for either misdemeanor or felony assault.
"After an extensive investigation with the United States Department of State, the United States Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department, a total of 18 individuals have been charged or are facing charges stemming from a physical altercation that occurred during a First Amendment assembly on May 16, 2017," Dustin Sternbeck, director of the MPD's communications office, said in a statement. "Investigators have spent the last several weeks using video technology to identify additional individuals who took part in the incident."
MPD's review of the video evidence helped them identify the individuals who engaged in the attack. Two suspects were arrested at the scene of the attack. Another two were arrested on Wednesday.
The remaining suspects with charges pending against them, most of whom are Turkish security officials, are still at large. The MPD did would not comment on whether any arrests are pending or if they know the whereabouts of those who have yet to be apprehended.
"We will put out a press release if/when additional arrests are made," Karimah Bilal, MPD public affairs specialist, told the Washington Free Beacon.
The Turkish government did not respond to questions on where the charged officials are or whether they would be turned over to face the charges. The Turkish government, which cracked down on independent media outlets in Turkey last year, has not responded to any questions from the Washington Free Beacon since the event took place last month. Their only statement on the attack, issued on May 18, blamed the protesters for instigating the violence despite the fact that video evidence contradicted their claim.
The May 16 attack has received wide condemnation from across the political spectrum in the United States. The State Department, MPD, and Secret Service all released statements condemned the attack in public statements. The House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution in June condemning the attack as well as calling for a number of diplomatic actions to be taken against those involved.
MPD has released photographs of the suspects with outstanding warrants for their arrest.