Trump photo op was not reason for removal of protesters: Report | Black Lives Matter News


An internal investigation into the forced compensation of racial justice protesters in Washington, DC, have not been influenced by former President Donald Trump’s plans to be photographed outside a church while holding a Bible.

The report released Wednesday by the inspector general of the Department of the Interior concludes that the protesters were released by the United States Park Police (USPP) on June 1 last year so that a contract could begin the installation of a new fencing.

Trump had been widely criticized for what appeared to be the protesters ’force compensation with peppercorns and flash-bangs 30 minutes before taking the photo in front of St. John’s Church, near the White House.

Former President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John’s Church through Lafayette Park from the White House in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2020 [File: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

Protesters had taken to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police several days before May 25.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was convicted for Floyd’s assassination in April.

Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt said in a statement that the USPP he had already planned to clear the area and “had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they learned of a potential presidential visit to the park.”

Trump, that was it deplatformed on Twitter, Facebook and other social media after the Uprising of January 6th who tried to plant a joint session of Congress to certify the victory of President Joe Biden to keep Trump in office, released a statement celebrating the report.

“As we have said all along, and it has been supported in the now detailed and professionally written report, our beautiful Park Police has taken the decision to vacate the park to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing to protect against Antifa insurgents, radical protesters BLM, and other violent protesters causing chaos and death in our cities, ”Trump said.

“Once again, thanks to the inspector general!”

However, it appears that Trump administration officials have been trying to convince the authorities to liberate the area. The report documents Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, he encouraged leaders shortly before pushing to crack down on protesters because of Trump, but was fired.

The report includes testimonies from an unnamed USPP operations commander: “The Attorney General asked them,‘ It will be these people who will always be there when POTUS [President of the United States] come out? ‘The commander of USPP operations told us he didn’t know until then that the president would be leaving the White House and in Lafayette Park.”

Next, President Donald Trump walks past police in Lafayette Park after visiting St. John’s Church in Washington, DC, after racial justice protesters were forcibly released. [File: Patrick Semansky)

The testimony continued: “He said he replied to the Attorney General, ‘Are you freaking kidding me?’ and then hung his head and walked away. The Attorney General then left Lafayette Park.”

The report determined that the decision to clear the protesters was justified, but that law enforcement agencies on the scene failed to effectively communicate with each other and failed to communicate warnings to the protesters about the impending crackdown.

Several different law enforcement agencies moved ahead of schedule and started engaging with protesters before the protesters had been sufficiently warned.

The report details how on June 1, a contingent from the Bureau of Prisons arrived at the scene late, did not receive a full briefing and used pepper pellets on protesters “contrary to the USPP incident commander’s instructions”.

The conclusions, which deny any political influence on decisions and cite fog-of-war confusion for any missteps, are likely to be dismissed as insufficient by critics of last summer’s crackdown.

The new report focuses on the decision-making of the USPP, which falls under the Interior Department, and its complicated interactions with various law enforcement entities, including the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department.

It points out that “the USPP and the Secret Service did not use a shared radio channel to communicate” and determines that “weaknesses in communication and coordination may have contributed to confusion during the operation”.

Lafayette Park was the DC hub last year national wave of racial protests of justice that were sometimes violent.

Trump and his administration have resumed protests in the United States, including a series of “Kidnappings” of protesters by federal authorities in Portland, Oregon.

Much of the criticism of the compensation, and the accusations of political influence, stems from the decision to move before the 7 pm curfew that Mayor Muriel Bowser had established. The push surprised protesters and was criticized for being useless after two nights of clashes and damage to property.

The report concludes that the USPP commanders he saw the curfew as irrelevant. He quotes a commander of the incident as saying, “We have not enforced the Mayor’s co-operation. We are a federal entity. We are not working directly for the Mayor.”

He continued that the leaders on the scene “did not believe that the protesters were respecting the June 1 cover-up order or that the wait necessarily reduced the unrest.”





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