Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET
Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday charges against a dozen members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s security detail involved in last month’s violent clashes with protesters in the U.S. capital.
The arrest warrants come nearly a month after the violent incident, during which Turkish security guards were recorded assaulting demonstrators protesting Erdogan outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence. The protest, which coincided with Erdogan’s meeting with President Trump at the White House, left nine people injured.
Bowser called the altercation a “vicious attack.”
“It was an affront to our values as Washingtonians and as Americans and a clear assault on the First Amendment,” Bowser said Thursday, adding: “As Americans, the First Amendment grants us the right to assemble and protest peacefully, and here in DC we are committed to safeguarding and protecting that right.”
Turkey, however, viewed the incident differently. In addition to summoning the U.S. ambassador to Ankara in an effort to lodge a formal complaint against U.S. authorities’ handling of the incident, Turkish officials said the protesters were affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party, or the PKK, which Ankara views as a terrorist organization.