An Inspector General’s report released Wednesday found that when law enforcement cleared Lafayette Park in front of the White House last June, security was the top priority – not a photo opportunity for Donald Trump.
One week after the death of George Floyd and following days of unrest between Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters and law enforcement, Trump made headlines for walking through a recently cleared area in front of the White House to pose for a picture in front of St. John’s Church while holding a Bible.
Groups like BLM and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) later sued Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr for forcefully removing protestors from the square.
But the investigation released by Interior Department Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt, says U. S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service concluded it was necessary to remove protestors from the park on June 1 in order to install anti-scale fencing.
The decision was reached after at least 49 U. S. Park Police (USPP) were injured while policing the protests that took place from May 30 – 31.
Federal police officials did not learn of the president’s “potential” plan to walk through the park until hours after the operational strategy to erect the fence had been laid out.
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“The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the president to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church,” the report said.