December 6, 2022

Federal Probe: Protest Last Summer Not Broken Up Due to Trump Photo Op | Voice of America

WASHINGTON – An internal investigation has determined that the decision to forcibly clear racial justice protesters from an area in front of the White House last summer was not influenced by then-President Donald Trump’s plan to stage a photo opportunity at that spot.  

The report released Wednesday by the Interior Department’s inspector general concludes that the protesters were cleared by U.S. Park Police last June 1 so that a contractor could get started installing new fencing.  

The demonstrators were protesting the death of George Floyd, who died after a then-Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck and pinned him to the ground for about 9 1/2 minutes. A half-hour after the Washington protesters were forced from the area with pepper pellets and flash-bangs, Trump walked across Lafayette Park amid the lingering scent of pepper spray and delivered a short speech while holding a Bible in front of St. John’s Church.  

Park Police officials had already planned to clear the area and “had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park,” Inspector General Mark Lee Greenblatt said in a statement accompanying the report. “We determined that the evidence did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park.”

President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he visits outside St. John's Church across Lafayette Park from the White House
FILE – Then-President Donald Trump holds a Bible as he stands outside St. John’s Church at Lafayette Park near the White House, June 1, 2020, in Washington.

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.  

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.  

Lafayette Park, the Washington nexus of the last summer’s national wave of racial justice protests, is under Park Police jurisdiction; that agency falls under the Interior Department.  

The new report focuses on the Park Police decision-making 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.”

 

in U.S.
Related Posts

NCAA Expands Income Opportunities for Student-Athletes | Voice of America

July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

U.S. college athletes nationwide are now allowed to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness, the NCAA...

US-Based Non-Profit Group Works to Reunite Ethiopian Families Separated by Adoption | Voice of America

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

The letter delivered to Måns Clausen brought startling news. It advised the Swedish actor that his biological mother in Ethiopia,...

Puerto Rico Suffers Power Outages After Private Firm Takes Over Grid | Voice of America

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – A private company that took over power transmission and distribution in Puerto Rico this month...

Blinken Slams China’s Lack of Transparency Amid Review of COVID-19 Origins | Voice of America

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

WASHINGTON – The United States renewed its call to “get to the bottom of” the origins of COVID-19, singling out...

After 2-year Battle, House Panel to Interview Trump Counsel | Voice of America

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

WASHINGTON – The House Judiciary Committee is poised to question former White House counsel Don McGahn behind closed doors on...

Military Defends January 6 Response as House Steps Up Probes | Voice of America

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

A top Army leader defended the Pentagon’s response to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, telling a House...

Biden, Putin to Meet for First Time in Geneva | Voice of America

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for the first time in Geneva Wednesday amid deteriorating relations...

Bruce Springsteen Plans Broadway Return of His One-Man Show | Voice of America

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

NEW YORK – The Boss just can’t quit Broadway. Bruce Springsteen will return to Broadway this summer for a limited...

Britney Spears Tells Judge: ‘I Want My Life Back’ | Voice of America

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES – After 13 years of near silence in the conservatorship that controls her life and money, Britney Spears...

Supreme Court: Migrants Temporarily in US Ineligible for Permanent Residency | Voice of America

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that 400,000 immigrants from 12 countries living in the United States for humanitarian...

Travel Rebound: 2 Million People Go Through US Airports  | Voice of America

June 13, 2021

June 13, 2021

DALLAS – The airline industry’s recovery from the pandemic passed a milestone as more than 2 million people streamed through...

US Lawmakers in Marathon Debate on Big Tech Regulation Bills | Voice of America

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – U.S. lawmakers debated into the night Wednesday over details of legislation aimed at curbing the power of Big...

Vets Return to Memorial Day Traditions as Pandemic Eases | Voice of America

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

BOSTON – A pair of military vets navigate the hilly, meandering paths in a historic cemetery in Boston, searching out...

US Spied on Merkel, Other Europeans Through Danish Cables, Broadcaster DR Alleges | Voice of America

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) used a partnership with Denmark’s foreign intelligence unit to spy on...

US Gives More Asylum-seekers Waiting in Mexico Another Shot | Voice of America

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

SAN DIEGO – Thousands of asylum-seekers whose claims were dismissed or denied under a Trump administration policy that forced them...