As the Department of Justice is confoundingly begging a federal judge to toss out an ACLU lawsuit against the former Trump administration for its brutality against protesters at Lafayette Square last year, law enforcement is now admitting to using tear gas.
As disgraced former President Donald Trump spoke outside the White House on June 1, 2020, loud bangs could be heard in the background in nearby Lafayette Square where protesters had gathered to speak out against police brutality and racial injustice. Later on, Trump and his team of minions walked through the empty square to St. John’s Episcopal Church so he could hold up a Bible for an infamous photo-op.
It turns out that Trump’s DOJ had ordered law enforcement to forcefully clear the square so Trump could take that photo-op. Officers used tear gas against the protesters and have denied doing so ever since.
The use of tear gas, which is banned in war because it’s a chemical weapon, resulted in the ACLU filing a lawsuit to expose the brutality of the Trump administration and ensure it never happens again.
For some reason, President Joe Biden’s DOJ wants the lawsuit dismissed, once again seemingly protecting Trump from being held accountable for his behavior in office.
But now law enforcement has admitted in court to using tear gas, according to a report by WUSA.
An attorney for DC Police said in court, for the first time, that the department did indeed use tear gas on protesters around Lafayette Square Park last June. Protesters and the ACLU are suing federal police, and MPD, over their use of tear gas. MPD has consistently said that it was ‘not involved’ in what happened at Lafayette Square Park on June 1, 2020 when protesters were forcefully cleared minutes before former President Donald Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
WUSA9 collected evidence and showed video that proved federal police agencies fired tear gas canisters at protesters at and around Lafayette Square Park on June 1. Protesters also reported seeing DC Police firing tear gas in their direction closer to 17th and H while fleeing federal police tear gas. The department has previously refused to say what, if any, tear gas munitions officers used on protesters that day. Leadership has said that its actions were to enforce Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 7 p.m. curfew.
This lawsuit should not be dismissed. It clearly needs to advance in court so everything that happened that day and Trump’s involvement can be exposed. That being said, the DOJ should be prosecuting Trump for his crimes against the American people, including the multiple instances of obstruction of justice he committed during the Russia investigation, his scheme to blackmail Ukraine into persecuting his political rivals, and for inciting the Capitol insurrection. But it appears Biden’s DOJ is poised to let Trump off the hook, paving the way for the authoritarian future Republicans desire.
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