On Monday, US Park Police and other law enforcement officials violently dispersed mostly peaceful protesters in Washington, DC, using tear gas and rubber bullets outside the White House so that Trump could pose in front of the fire-damaged St. John's Episcopal Church for a speedy photo-op shortly before 7 p.m. local time, which is now the city’s curfew, aimed at preventing additional destruction from looting and vandalism.
Amid the beginning of the city's new curfew, US Secret Service agents were seen guarding the president as he walked from the White House to the historic church, which was damaged in a fire on Sunday.
US Attorney General William Barr personally ordered law enforcement to remove protesters near the White House, which caused the use of excessive force against the generally peaceful crowd, reported the Washington Post. A Justice Department official said Barr instructed police to clear the streets around Lafayette Square right before POTUS spoke Monday evening. The White House asserted that the crowd was dispersed to help enforce the city’s curfew.
The move by the police came shortly after Barr was booed while walking through Lafayette Square across from the White House, where several thousand protesters had gathered for more demonstrations against the shocking police killing of Floyd.