Tags: house | lafayettesquare | riot | parkpolice

House Dems Ask for Briefing on Clearing of Lafayette Square

the president and his cabinet walks through a cleared lafayette park
President Donald Trump leaves the White House on foot to go to St John's Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020.  (Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 June 2020 09:27 PM

House Democrats are asking the U.S. Park Police for information regarding Monday’s clearing of Lafayette Square across from the White House in which chaos erupted when protesters objected to being moved, TheHill.com reported.

Natural Resources Committee Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, who chairs the panel’s Natural Parks subcommittee, requested USPP arrange a briefing to address reports of a “violent attack on peaceful protesters,” including the use of tear gas and flash-bang grenades.

Acting USPP Chief Gregory Monahan denied tear gas was used, saying in a statement that smoke canisters and pepper balls were used to combat “violent” protesters. 

“As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls,” Monahan said. 

Monahan said the protesters threw bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids at officers.

“No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park,” he added.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement Monday the perimeter around the executive mansion "was expanded to help enforce the 7 p.m. curfew in the same area where rioters attempted to burn down one of our nation's most historic churches the night before."

St. John’s Episcopal Church was set afire Sunday night by protestors. Deere said U.S. Park Police warned protesters to clear the area three times.

After the park was secured, President Donald Trump and some of his cabinet walked through Lafayette Square to the church.

Regardless, the letter by Grijalva and Haaland called the clearing of the park “grossly irresponsible” and that the Park Police “must not be used as a tool to perpetuate institutional racism or commit violence against the American people."

Riots have erupted in several cities across the country since a Minneapolis man, George Floyd, died in police custody. A widely circulated video showed a police officer restraining Floyd face down alongside a patrol car with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Four officers involved the arrest of Floyd have been fired and the officer seen in the video has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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House Democrats are asking the U.S. Park Police for information regarding Monday's clearing of Lafayette Square across from the White House in which chaos erupted when protesters objected to being moved, TheHill.com reported....
house, lafayettesquare, riot, parkpolice
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2020-27-02
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 09:27 PM
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