On June 1, 2020, President Trump walked from the White House overt to St. John’s Church that was firebombed the night before during a BLM protest. Before Trump left the White House US Park Police under attack from rioters cleared Lafayette using tear gas and other crowd control mentions on rioters that refused to leave.
The Interior Department’s inspector general found that the US Park Police did not clear the park so Trump could walk from the White House. In the report the inspector general noted that US Park Police had learned of Trump wish to visit the church after they had already planned to clear the park because the crowd was unruly.
Describing the report here’s what ABC News wrote:
The Interior Department’s inspector general did not determine whether law enforcement acted inappropriately against demonstrators last year, but found that poor communication between agencies and ineffective dispersal warnings “may have contributed to confusion during the operation and the use of tactics that appeared inconsistent” with initial plans.
Translation…the mob wouldn’t leave and the police protected themselves.
Here is the official statement from the US Park Police:
On Monday, June 1, the USPP worked with the United States Secret Service to have temporary fencing installed inside Lafayette Park. 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.
To curtail the violence that was underway, the USPP, following established policy, issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area. Horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area. 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. USPP officers and other assisting law enforcement partners did not use tear gas or OC Skat Shells to close the area at Lafayette Park. Subsequently, the fence was installed.
President Trump thanked the inspector general for vindicating him.
“Thank you to the Department of the Interior Inspector General for Completely and Totally exonerating me in the clearing of Lafayette Park!” he said.
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“As we have said all along, and it was backed up in today’s highly detailed and professionally written report, our fine Park Police made the decision to clear the park to allow a contractor to safely install antiscale fencing to protect from Antifa rioters, radical BLM protestors, and other violent demonstrators who are causing chaos and death to our cities. In this instance, they tried burning down the church the day before the clearing. Fortunately, we were there to stop the fire from spreading beyond the basement – and it was our great honor and privilege to do so. Again, thank you to the Inspector General!” Trump’s statement said.