Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves Police using force on a group of protestors in Washington DC and why they were order to remove protestors.
Attorney General William Barr personally ordered law enforcement officials to clear the streets around Lafayette Square just before President Trump spoke Monday, a Justice Department official said, a directive that prompted a show of aggression against a crowd of largely peaceful protesters, drawing widespread condemnation.
The forceful effort to squelch the demonstration came as Trump has sought to flex the federal government’s muscles in response to a wave of unrest across the country, filling the streets in the District with federal law enforcement officers from multiple agencies.
Secret Service officers then surrounded the area and created a protective zone for Trump, who moments later crossed the street and made an appearance outside St. John’s Church, joined by Barr and other administration officials.
The administration offered conflicting explanations for the forcible removal of the protesters, seeking to separate the move from Trump’s visit to the church.
The White House asserted that the crowd was dispersed to help enforce the city’s 7 p.m. curfew, although District police had not requested such assistance. The Park Police said that its officers responded after protesters began throwing projectiles.
Other administration officials said the move to clear the crowd was part of a previously planned effort to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square. Two federal law enforcement officials said that authorities decided either late Sunday or early Monday to broaden it by one block and that Barr participated in those discussions.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said Monday that Trump had directed Barr to personally “lead” the response to the unrest. Less than an hour before police moved to clear the peaceful demonstrators from in front of Lafayette Square, Barr was captured on camera with officials at the scene, including Tony Ornato, the White House deputy chief of staff.
On Tuesday, city officials said the White House had pushed to take control of the D.C. police force to quell protests, an effort that Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said she rejected. Still, by Tuesday evening, National Guard Humvees were streaming through downtown as officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Park Police were positioned throughout the capital.