OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters

June 9, 2020
In The News


-Investigation, please... Democratic lawmakers are requesting an investigation into the U.S. Park Police’s use of force in clearing demonstrators who had gathered near the White House to protest the killing of George Floyd.

Park Police have acknowledged using chemical agents on June 1 to clear protesters shortly before President Trump crossed Lafayette Square for a photo op at a nearby church.

The Department of Interior, which oversees Park Police, has been under increasing pressure from Democratic lawmakers to explain why a largely peaceful protests was met with such a show of force. 

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore). and House Natural Resources Chair Raul Grijalva (D-A.Z.) along with Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) have asked Interior’s Office of Inspector General to create a website where people present for the protest can submit footage documenting the actions taken by police.

Lawmakers are asking OIG to “investigate whether the Park Police’s use of force in Lafayette Park complied with applicable law, regulations and agency guidance, including standards set by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. The OIG’s investigation should extend to actions taken by the Park Police and any other Department of Interior law enforcement agencies involved in responding to protests since the death of George Floyd. It also should examine from where the agency received its directives,” the wrote.