U.S. Park Police acting chief Gregory Monahan said on Tuesday that the White House did not give orders to clear Black Lives Matter protesters from Lafayette Square on June 1, and it was unrelated to President Donald Trump’s walk a short time later to a church for a photo op, Politico reported.
Testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee, Monahan said his officers followed all rules in a volatile situation, insisting that the police “acted with tremendous restraint in the face of severe violence from a large group of bad actors that again caused 50 of my officers to seek medical attention.”
He specifically said that the action against the protesters was not taken to allow Trump to walk a short distance in order to have a picture taken of himself holding a Bible in front of a historic church.
Monahan's description of the situation that night was in sharp contrast to the prepared testimony from Adam DeMarco, a senior major in the D.C. National Guard who later told the panel the removal of the demonstrators was “deeply disturbing” and appeared to be an infringement of their First Amendment rights.
“From my observation, those demonstrators — our fellow American citizens — were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,” DeMarco said in a prepared written testimony. “Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.