Statement: ‘No tear gas used’ to close Lafayette Park area; people cleared were not peaceful

Statement: ‘No tear gas used’ to close Lafayette Park area; people cleared were not peaceful
Police use smoke canisters and flashbangs to disperse crowd from Lafayette Square in D.C. 1 June 2020. The Hill video, YouTube

[Ed. – We’ve been waiting throughout Tuesday for a statement from the USPP, which has responsibility for Lafayette Park (on the north side of the White House, where demonstrations are permitted).  This is about the allegation that tear gas was used to clear the square for Trump’s walk to the church.  A Park Police source told a WTOP reporter earlier on Tuesday that smoke canisters were used, but not tear gas.  Video seems to back that up; the smoke dissipates too fast for tear gas. Incredibly, I’m seeing NeverTrumpers on Twitter immediately insist the USPP must be lying.]

[T]his past weekend’s demonstrations at Lafayette Park and across the National Mall included activities that were not part of a peaceful protest, which resulted in injuries to USPP officers in the line of duty, the destruction of public property and the defacing of memorials and monuments. During four days of demonstrations, 51 members of the USPP were injured; of those, 11 were transported to the hospital and released and three were admitted. …

On Monday, June … 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. …

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

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