Daily Beast: D.C. Army National Guard Commander Adam DeMarco is set to tell Congress that anti-racism demonstrators removed from Washington’s Lafayette Square on June 1 before were “behaving peacefully” and that the Trump administration did speed up their removal for President Trump’s photo opportunity, in contradiction with prior statements from Attorney General William Barr and others.
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“Unanswered Questions About the U.S. Park Police’s June 1 Attack on Peaceful Protestors at Lafayette Square”
Statement by National Guard officer Adam DeMarcohttps://t.co/dVoJ3q9ShF
— jessica from 6’ away🧂 (@jessicashortall) July 27, 2020
“based on my previous exposure to tear gas in my training at West Point and later in my Army training, I recognized that irritation as effects consistent with CS or ‘tear gas.’" He said he found spent tear gas canisters on the street later.” https://t.co/6lvIhfIC5i
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) July 27, 2020
And the fact that AG Barr is so angry & arrogant in that @60Minutes clip – this is WHY the plaintiffs sued him in his official & individual capacity (cutting off the limited immunity and/or sovereign immunity)
Dude knows he broke the law & now he’s lying https://t.co/L8YRUqxfAt
— File411 (@File411) June 7, 2020
In a statement issued Monday, DeMarco called the deployment of tear gas against the protesters an “excessive use of force,” and explained that while law-enforcement officials did believe they would be clearing the area after 7 p.m. in accordance with the curfew, the timeline was moved up when Barr and others arrived in the park at about 6 p.m.
An Army National Guard commander will testify tomorrow that Park Police's use of force in the clearing of Lafayette Square last month was an "unnecessary" and "unprovoked" escalation that he and his fellow National Guardsman viewed as "deeply disturbing."https://t.co/Oj1QdGtXgL
— Axios (@axios) July 27, 2020
He also says that fencing materials did not arrive until hours after Barr had ordered the Park Police to erect a fence. DeMarco is set to testify Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee, which is investigating the violent response to protesters and the international press at the scene.
Adam DeMarco, a major in the D.C. National Guard, said he was coming forward "to help ensure that there is a fair factual record of what happened at Lafayette Square, based on what I saw and experienced first-hand."https://t.co/1cmwDSmWTJ
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) July 27, 2020
DeMarco, an Iraq War veteran, also states that Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told him not to let National Guard officers go overboard when dealing with protesters angered by the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
U.S. Park Police began the violent clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square last month without provocation or adequate warning to demonstrators, according to an Army National Guard officer who was there. His account challenges Trump’s explanation.https://t.co/PF8fprBvJY
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) July 27, 2020
“General Milley told me to ensure that National Guard personnel remained calm, adding that we were there to respect the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights,” his statement reads. Milley has apologized for his presence at what became the Trump appearance, saying it “created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
Protesters were cleared from Lafayette Square before an appearance by President Trump without provocation or adequate warning, a senior National Guard officer plans to tell Congress. The Trump administration has said the protesters were violent. https://t.co/s9REbpFnwl
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 27, 2020