U.S. Park Police have told reporters they did not use tear gas in LaFayette Square last night ahead of the President’s walk to St. John’s Church. Instead, police officers used smoke canisters to disperse protesters who were hurling bottles at them.
The news – from Park Police themselves – potentially renders virtually every mainstream media organization and Twitter verified user guilty of spreading misinformation.
WTOP’s Neil Augenstein reported this morning: “U.S. Park Police is explaining its decision-making in clearing Lafayette Square, at least 20 minutes before DC’s 7p curfew, on night 4 of protests. A source says tear gas was never used — instead smoke cannisters [sic] were deployed, which don’t have an uncomfortable irritant in them.
“And, the source says Park Police didn’t know President Trump would be walking across the park several minutes later. Park Police say the reason the crowd was disbursed with smoke cannisters is that at that moment, officers were being pelted with water bottles. Another factor was that protesters had climbed on top of the structure at the north end of Lafayette Square that had been burned the day before.”