IG: Park Police Didn’t Clear Lafayette Square Protesters For Trump Visit

"Inspector general finds plan to clear park on June 1 was set in place days earlier, to build fence and protect officers"

"When the U.S. Park Police led law enforcement officers into a crowd of mostly peaceful protesters outside Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, including officers equipped with chemical irritants and officers on horseback, they did so as part of a plan made days earlier to build a fence around the park to protect officers, not to facilitate the visit minutes later by President Donald Trump to a nearby church, an inspector general’s report released Wednesday concluded.

The report also found that D.C. police officers fired tear gas at protesters as they moved away from the park toward 17th Street, the Park Police did not deploy tear gas on June 1, but did on previous days, and Bureau of Prisons officers fired pepper spray munitions from the park without provocation during the clearing. Investigators also found that the audio warnings issued by the Park Police before the operation were not widely heard by the crowd and mostly ineffective.

The report by the Interior Department’s inspector general focuses on the Park Police and does not fully address questions about the involvement of other agencies or the Trump administration in the events of June 1. Interior officials said they may not have heard all of the discussions that went on about the operation within the Secret Service or the White House, but that those discussions did not affect how and when the Park Police acted. The investigators did not interview Secret Service or White House personnel."

Tom Jackman and Carol D. Leonnig report for the Washington Post June 9, 2021.


"Park Police Had Planned to Clear Area Before Trump’s Walk to Church, Watchdog Says" (New York Times)

"Watchdog Report Finds Park Police Did Not Clear Racial Injustice Protesters From Lafayette Park For Trump's Visit To St. John's Church Last June" (CNN)

Source: Washington Post, 06/10/2021