A recent report by the Interior Department Inspector General about events surrounding a June 1, 2020, protest in Washington's Lafayette Park differs from many news accounts published at the time.
The report said the U.S. Park Police cleared the park specifically in order to install new security fencing later that evening following repeated protests at the site. The police action interrupted a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. The report said warnings to the crowd were “ineffective.”
Minutes after the protesters were pushed out, then-President Trump walked across the park to pose for photos in front of nearby St. John’s Church. Major news media, quoting protestors and noting the timing, reported that the park had been cleared in order to make it safe for the president’s excursion. Democrats in Congress noted the report left unanswered questions about the police’s timing and use of force.