Barr again defends law enforcement's force in controversial removal of peaceful protesters in DC
June 7, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.
Attorney General Bill Barr during an interview Sunday again defended the actions of federal law enforcement officers who forcefully cleared peaceful protesters in Washington on Monday, but he offered different reasons as to why force was used.
(CNN)Attorney General Bill Barr during an interview Sunday again defended the actions of federal law enforcement officers who forcefully cleared peaceful protesters in Washington on Monday, but he offered different reasons as to why force was used.
Barr, in his interview on CBS' "Face the Nation," said the protesters were moved because the Park Police wanted a larger security perimeter around the White House -- not to aid the White House in staging President Donald Trump's subsequent photo opportunity with a Bible at the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church.
A Justice Department official previously told CNN that Barr had been told that police believed protesters were gathering rocks to throw at law enforcement, and while he was in the park, water bottles were thrown in his direction.
"On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, OK, there were violent riots in -- at Lafayette Park where the Park Police were under constant attack at the -- behind their bike rack fences," Barr said.
US Park Police determined on Sunday night that authorities would need to put a larger perimeter around the White House, Barr said, adding that he gave the order for that to happen on Monday morning.
As for the delay in moving the protesters -- which did not occur until more than four hours after Barr said law enforcement were asked to do so, and not until moments before Trump's emergence -- Barr said: "The effort was to move the perimeter one block, and it had to be done when we had enough people in place to achieve that. "