US Park Police Deny Using Tear Gas on Protestors Outside the White House

U.S. Park Police (USPP) is denying that tear gas was used on demonstrators as law enforcement sought to clear out the protests outside the White House on Monday to make way for the president’s walk to St. John’s Church.

However, though the USPP is saying that “no tear gas was used,” reporters have suggested otherwise. It was reported that the protests were peaceful before tear gas was reportedly used.

Noting the USPP worked with the U.S. Secret Service to put up a temporary fence, the USPP wrote in a statement on Tuesday:

“At approximately 6:33 pm, violent protestors on H Street NW began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids. The protestors also climbed onto a historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior. Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street.”

As a result, the USPP said it took measures to “curtail the violence,” including issuing “three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area.” However, as protestors “became more combative,” as USPP wrote, “officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls.”

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

In the conclusion, the USPP wrote, “The USPP will always support peaceful assembly but cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect.”

Tom Brenner/Reuters

President Donald Trump tweeted in response to reports of tear gas reportedly being used, where he called it “fake news.”

Reporters have, however, shared a different story of what occurred.

According to Fox News, administration officials said Attorney General Bill Barr was the one who directed the orders for officials to extend the perimeter in clearing Lafayette Square for the president’s walk to the church.

Protests — both peaceful and violent — have erupted in many cities across the nation over the last week for justice over the death of George Floyd.

Published in IJR

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