IG report: Park police cleared rioters from Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square to install fencing

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: A woman holds onto a fence surrounding Lafayette Park as part of the expanded protective perimeter around the White House on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. As a result of last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol, increased security measures have been put in place, including 25,000 National Guard soldiers, ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

A woman holds onto a fence surrounding Lafayette Park as part of the expanded protective perimeter around the White House on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 4:53 PM PT – Wednesday, June 9, 2021

A new report said federal police cleared a crowd of rioters from Lafayette Square last year so that fencing could be installed around the area. The report surfaced on Wednesday and contradicted the narrative that the park was cleared so President Donald Trump could hold a photo opportunity at a nearby church.

President Trump in a statement on Wednesday thanked the inspector general, saying park police made the decision to install fencing in order to provide protection from Antifa, BLM and other violent demonstrators. Then Attorney General William Barr, defended the decision to use force to clear the rioters, saying it was necessary to gain control of the situation.

Attorney General William Barr watches a Republican Exhibit video of people rioting, during the House Judiciary Committee hearing in the Congressional Auditorium at the US Capitol Visitors Center July 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. - In his first congressional testimony in more than a year, Barr is expected to face questions from the committee about his deployment of federal law enforcement agents to Portland, Oregon, and other cities in response to Black Lives Matter protests; his role in using federal agents to violently clear protesters from Lafayette Square near the White House last month before a photo opportunity for President Donald Trump in front of a church; his intervention in court cases involving Trump's allies Roger Stone and Michael Flynn; and other issues. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CHIP SOMODEVILLA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

William Barr watches a Republican Exhibit video of people rioting, during the House Judiciary Committee hearing in the Congressional Auditorium at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Barr confirmed that more than 100 security officials were injured in Washington, D.C. following the demonstrations that were protesting the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. When commenting on the weekend, Barr said, “we decided that we needed more of a buffer to protect the White House and to protect our agents and Secret Service personnel who could be reached by projectiles from H Street.”

The claims against Trump were also the center of a BLM lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice. However, Barr confirmed that there was no correlation between the plan to expand the perimeter and the president going over to the church.

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