“Critical record of how police launched sweep against protesters is lost”
“Audio of the forceful push led by U.S. Park Police to sweep protesters out of Lafayette Square on June 1, moments before President Trump’s visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church, was not recorded by the Park Police radio communications system, the agency said Tuesday.
The sudden march into the group of protesters, featuring members of the Park Police, Secret Service, D.C. National Guard and Arlington County police, is now under investigation by Congress and the inspectors general of the Interior Department and Justice Department and the subject of civil lawsuits. The sweep along H Street caused an uproar because police used smoke and chemical irritants, along with officers on horseback, to clear out protesters well before a 7 p.m. curfew, with advance announcements that many said they did not hear.
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which is investigating the June 1 incident, said Tuesday that “Trump administration officials ordered the attack on clergy, nonviolent protesters, and working members of the press. For the official audio record of that day to now turn up missing has every appearance of a coverup.””