New York (DocLadet): On June 1 last year, police cleared Lafayette Square outside the White House with pepper spray, tear gas and smoke bombs for protesters.
Protesters have been part of a violent backlash across the United States since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chuvin on May 25 last year.
Shortly after the protesters were removed, then-US President Donald Trump marched with his Attorney General William Barr, Commander-in-Chief Mark Lawn and spokesman Kaylee McNani to St. John’s Episcopal Church across Lafayette Square. There, Trump had a Bible while photographing.
Since then, several American media outlets have reported that the area was removed from protesters because Donald Trump was scheduled to hold a photo session with the Bible.
But a new one Audit Report The Interior Ministry’s inspector general said police outside the White House were unaware of Trump’s plan to move protesters from the White House to a block in any case.
Before Trump came out, Barr was talking to police. He reportedly urged police to move protesters because of Trump, but was rejected by police, the report said.
It also refers to a significant exchange of words between the bar and the policeman who was in command at the scene.
– Will these people still be here when the president comes out? Trump asked the attorney general.
– Will you hang out with me? The policeman, unaware that Trump was coming out, responded.
The policeman then bowed his head in shame and left, the report said Andhra.
Plan ahead for Trump
“Park police had already planned to clear the area and began implementing an action plan several hours before learning of the president’s visit to the park,” Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt said in a statement.
According to the report, the decision to evacuate the protesters was justified, but various police officers in the area failed to communicate effectively with each other and failed to warn protesters that they were evacuating the area.
The protesters began to pressure the opponents of many police departments before sufficient warning.
The brutal confrontation and photo session at the church came after several days of increased tension in Washington D.C. and some violent clashes and riots. Many protesters gathered around the White House, and the majority remained silent.
Used tear gas
Trump said at the time that the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, could not maintain law and order, so he called for his own defense response.
According to the report, a team from the prison bureau arrived at the scene in late June 1. They did not receive a full explanation and threw pepper spray at the protesters, who, contrary to the instructions of the park police officer, were on the spot.
The report also points out that the police department responsible for the president’s security did not share a radio channel to communicate with the Park Police and the Secret Service.
– Weaknesses in communication and coordination can lead to confusion during the process, writes the Inspector General.
He also tried to find a bigger question regarding the incident: Who used tear gas in the police to disperse the peaceful protesters? According to the report, police officers from the city police station were stationed beyond a block.
Black Lives Matter Plaza
Police received massive criticism for being so brutal and confrontational during the incident. Among others, they began clearing the area just before 7pm, which was the time the curfew order was introduced.
According to the report, the park police considered the curfew order inappropriate.
– We did not enforce the reporter’s curfew order. We are a federal agency. A police chief at the park police says we did not work directly for the mayor.
Since then, the square outside the church where Trump stood with the Bible has been renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza and written in giant yellow letters on Black Lives Matter Street.