Protesters outside White House update: DC mayor says using tear gas

Protesters outside White House update: Washington DC mayor says using tear gas; The attorney general wanted demonstrators removed from a park near the White House...
protesters outside white house update dc mayor says using tear gas
To clear out White House protesters?

US News Today reported, the mayor of the nation's capital called it "shameful" that federal police forcefully removed protesters from the White House before the city's 7 p.m. curfew to apparently clear the way for the president to walk to St. John's Church.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote in a tweet that "A full 25 minutes before the curfew & w/o provocation, federal police used munitions on peaceful protesters in front of the White House". "Shameful!" she continued, and concluded by urging residents to go home and be safe.

Bowser said Tuesday federal law enforcement officials are responsible for protecting Lafayette Square and the area around the White House but that she did not think it was appropriate that they took the actions they did because the crowd was not violating the city's 7 p.m. curfew.

At about 6:30 p.m. law enforcement officers cleared Lafayette Park with tear gas, rubber bullets, shields and horses. Trump had yet to appear for his comments in the Rose Garden as the protesters, who at the time were peaceful, were being pushed back.

At 6:44 p.m., Trump began his comments by pledging to be a "law and order" president as officers continued to push protesters blocks away from where he was standing, using some form of projectile.

On Monday evening, federal authorities used tear gas to clear Lafayette Square so President Trump could pose for a photo while holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. It wasn’t the first time Trump has used the word of God as a political prop, Washington Post cites.

"We were very shocked and quite frankly outraged that people who were not violating the curfew and who did not seem to have provoked attack were attacked and moved out by the federal law enforcement officials who were directed to clear the way for the president," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said on CNN.

Clear out White House protesters?

Attorney General William P. Barr ordered federal law enforcement officers to clear peaceful protesters out of Washington’s Lafayette Park on Monday so that President Trump could walk to a historic church and have his picture taken there, NYT reported.

After President Trump threatened to deploy the military to crack down on protesters, his opponents and former military leaders condemned the response as incendiary, as a country ravaged by the coronavirus and unemployment plunged further into crisis.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, the likely Democratic nominee for president, said on Tuesday that the nation was “crying out for leadership” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, criticized Mr. Trump for being a “fanner of the flame” of division. Retired senior military leaders also spoke out against the strategy of deploying active-duty units onto America’s streets.

Demonstrations across America

There have been demonstrations against police brutality and racial discrimination across the countries in dozens of cities after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in Minneapolis police custody last week after a white officer pinned him to the ground under his knee.

The daily protests, which have spread to at least 140 cities across the country, have been among the most widespread civil unrest the nation has seen in half a century.

The protests in D.C. have been unruly, causing Trump to be moved to the White House's underground bunker Friday night to shelter in place briefly as the protest grew outside the Executive Mansion. There were multiple fires and break-ins reported near the White House Sunday night.

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