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National Guard officer says police suddenly moved on Lafayette Square protesters, used ‘excessive force’ before Trump visit

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Guard major to testify before Congress that warnings couldn’t be heard, tear gas was used

July 27, 2020

An Army National Guard officer who witnessed protesters forcibly removed from Lafayette Square last month is contradicting claims by the attorney general and the Trump administration that they did not speed up the clearing to make way for the president’s photo opportunity minutes later.

A new statement by Adam DeMarco, an Iraq veteran who now serves as a major in the D.C. National Guard, also casts doubt on the claims by acting Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan that violence by protesters spurred Park Police to clear the area at that time with unusually aggressive tactics. DeMarco said that “demonstrators were behaving peacefully” and that tear gas was deployed in an “excessive use of force.”

DeMarco backs up law enforcement officials who told The Washington Post they believed the clearing operation would happen after the 7 p.m. curfew that night — but it was dramatically accelerated after Attorney General William P. Barr and others appeared in the park around 6 p.m. Monahan has said the operation was conducted so that a fence might be erected around the park. DeMarco said the fencing materials did not arrive until 9 p.m. — hours after Barr told the Park Police to expand the perimeter -- and the fence wasn’t built until later that night.

DeMarco’s account of events also reveals for the first time the details of the visit that Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made to Lafayette Square just before the move on protesters — and the warning he gave his troops.

Milley, who had arrived in the park with Barr about 30 minutes before the clearing, warned DeMarco to keep officers from going overboard. “General Milley told me to ensure that National Guard personnel remained calm, adding that we were there to respect the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights,” DeMarco said.

Milley has since apologized for his presence in Lafayette Square, saying, “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

DeMarco is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the House Natural Resources Committee, which is investigating the government’s actions in clearing protesters away from Lafayette Square with projectiles, gas, smoke and mounted police, including an apparent assault on Australian journalists by two Park Police officers. His statement was posted Monday on the committee’s website. Monahan also is scheduled to testify.

“The hearing comes at an interesting time, during the protests in Portland and Seattle,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the natural resources committee, “and the presence of both police and ICE in those areas. What happened at Lafayette Square was kind of a precursor to the escalations this administration is using, the using of federal law enforcement, the contemplation of use of the military in these communities.”

The Trump administration has said the clearing operation was planned in advance, and Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec previously said, “No one voiced disagreement with that plan.” The White House has not commented on the timing of the operation, which started about 30 minutes before a 7 p.m. curfew.

As police were clearing the area around Lafayette Square, Trump began a short speech at the White House, and some of the small explosions from the park could be heard in the background. Trump then walked with an entourage to the park, which is adjacent to the White House, and stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He was photographed holding a Bible, did not make any remarks, and then walked back to the White House.

Barr said in a news conference on June 4 that he made the decision to expand the perimeter north of Lafayette Square, from H Street to I Street.

“There was no correlation between our tactical plan of moving the perimeter out by one block and the president’s going over to the church,” Barr said.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Laws and court rulings require police to provide demonstrators with repeated, clear warnings of officers’ intentions and then adequate time and avenues for protesters to disperse peacefully, but DeMarco said the warnings given on June 1 almost certainly couldn’t be heard by the crowd. If the street was cleared to accommodate Trump, rules of engagement for the Secret Service also may have been broken.

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, demonstrations began at Lafayette Square and elsewhere in the nation’s capital. On the night of May 31, projectiles and fireworks were launched toward Park Police officers and National Guard soldiers stationed in the park, and fires were set both at the park and in adjacent St. John’s Church. The Park Police have said 51 officers were injured in the days immediately after the protests began.

The next day, a number of agencies gathered to defend the park, including the Park Police, Secret Service, the D.C. National Guard and Arlington County police. A 2 p.m. meeting was held at an FBI command center with the heads of the agencies, and Barr told CBS News that a decision to expand the perimeter around the park “was communicated to all the police agencies.”

But no specific time or plan of action was discussed, both D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham and National Guard chief Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel told The Post last month. DeMarco’s testimony corroborates that version. A curfew was set for 7 p.m., “so I was not expecting any clearing operation to commence before then,” DeMarco said.

But at 6:05 p.m., DeMarco said, Barr and Milley entered the park. DeMarco said he briefed the Army general, who told him to respect the demonstrators’ rights. Grijalva said it seemed that Milley knew something was planned, “there’s a tinderbox here and he wants his people to respect the rights of the protesters.”

Milley has testified he had no prior knowledge of the forcible clearing of Lafayette Square. A Defense Department official said Monday that Milley was simply surveying the situation in the park because of the president’s wish to use military troops to quell protests, and Milley was satisfied law enforcement could handle the protest.

“We had seen a lot of violence in protests over the previous days," the official said. "He was just reminding forces on the ground that we were there to support law enforcement and to stay calm in the face of uncertainty.”

At 6:20 p.m., DeMarco said, the Park Police issued three warning announcements to the protesters. But he said the warnings were made using a hand-held megaphone at the base of the Andrew Jackson statue, 50 yards from the protesters. DeMarco said he stood 20 yards from the protesters, “the announcements were barely audible and I saw no indication that the demonstrators were cognizant of the warnings to disperse.”

The operation to clear the protesters began at 6:30 p.m., DeMarco said. The National Guard did not participate in the direct push, but was used to follow the officers who dispersed the protesters and establish the new perimeter, DeMarco said. The Guard members were not armed.

As the federal and local police waded into the protesters, DeMarco said he saw smoke being used and that he was told by a Park Police officer it was “stage smoke,” not tear gas. But DeMarco said, “I could feel irritation in my eyes and nose, and 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.

The Park Police have adamantly denied using tear gas, instead saying they shot balls with pepper spray irritant in them. The Secret Service have not commented on whether it fired tear gas.

DeMarco said that as he followed the Park Police down H Street, he saw “unidentified law enforcement personnel behind our National Guardsmen using ‘paintball-like’ weapons to discharge what I later learned to be ‘pepper balls’ into the crowd, as demonstrators continued to retreat.

The protesters were pushed a block away from Lafayette Square. At 7:05 p.m.,DeMarco said he watched Trump walking onto H Street, where he would have his picture taken holding up a Bible. “The president’s arrival was a complete surprise,” DeMarco said, “as we had not been briefed that he would enter our sector.”

“As for the new security barrier,” DeMarco continued, “whose installation was the stated purpose of the clearing operation, the materials to erect it did not arrive on the scene until around 9 p.m., and it was not completed until later that night.” This required the local and federal police to maintain a human barricade for hours until the fence was built.

DeMarco, 34, is a U.S. Military Academy graduate and a veteran of three overseas deployments, including a combat tour in Iraq. In 2018, he ran in the Democratic primary for Congress against incumbent Rep. John Sarbanes, and was strongly critical of Trump. He now works as an associate for Booz Allen Hamilton at the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to his LinkedIn profile.

DeMarco 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.” He said that, having served in a combat zone and having experience in assessing threats, “at no time did I feel threatened by the protesters or assess them to be violent … From my observation, these demonstrators — our fellow American citizens — were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights. Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”

Grijalva said DeMarco’s testimony showed “the discomfort the military has with policing against the American citizen. This was a political stunt at the expense of the protesters and at the expense of the reputations of the National Guard and the police.”

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I don't think tear gas, rubber bullets or mounted officers are excessive force against a mob of rioters. Tanks and live ammo without sufficient warning could be excessive, but since nobody was killed by law enforcement, the force used was just fine.

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2 hours ago, Mikey said:

I don't think tear gas, rubber bullets or mounted officers are excessive force against a mob of rioters. Tanks and live ammo without sufficient warning could be excessive, but since nobody was killed by law enforcement, the force used was just fine.

They weren't rioting.  They were practicing their constitutional right to peacefully protest.

Edited by homersapien
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9 minutes ago, homersapien said:

They weren't rioting DA.  They were practicing their constitutional right to peacefully protest.

And he's practicing his constitutional right to beg for attention, you intolerant lib. Cancel culture run amok! 

 

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Weren't they told to move back to clear the perimeter for the president to arrive? I believe the secret service has to clear a certain size area for the president to appear. They told them to move back to establish the new perimeter, but they refused numerous warnings, and ultimately were forced to move. It was not tear gas however that was used it was something less powerful. So no, excessive force was not used.  Peaceful protesters would have reconvened a few yards away after the perimeter was established.  They were just trying to disrespect, defy, and disrupt whatever the president was going to do.  

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22 hours ago, homersapien said:

They weren't rioting.  They were practicing their constitutional right to peacefully protest.

It was somebody else that burned that church then?

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3 hours ago, Mikey said:

It was somebody else that burned that church then?

Yep.  In this particular case, that's exactly right. The rioting happened long before the Trump photo op.

In this country, you don't have license to treat peaceful protestors as rioters simply because a riot occurred in the same place at an earlier time. 

Nor do you get to assume that any given person participating in that peaceful protest was a law-breaking rioter at a previous date.  (That's proof of why we are not yet being ruled by a totalitarian government - probable cause matters. You can't arrest people simply by associating them with others.)

Trump is clearly and deliberately trying to associate any and all legitimate protestors - and the BLM movement - with rioters and anarchists. 

This is a prime example.

Edited by homersapien
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On 7/28/2020 at 11:04 AM, jj3jordan said:

Weren't they told to move back to clear the perimeter for the president to arrive? I believe the secret service has to clear a certain size area for the president to appear. They told them to move back to establish the new perimeter, but they refused numerous warnings, and ultimately were forced to move. It was not tear gas however that was used it was something less powerful. So no, excessive force was not used.  Peaceful protesters would have reconvened a few yards away after the perimeter was established.  They were just trying to disrespect, defy, and disrupt whatever the president was going to do.  

This seems to me to be the most likely explanation.

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On 7/28/2020 at 11:04 AM, jj3jordan said:

Weren't they told to move back to clear the perimeter for the president to arrive? I believe the secret service has to clear a certain size area for the president to appear. They told them to move back to establish the new perimeter, but they refused numerous warnings, and ultimately were forced to move. It was not tear gas however that was used it was something less powerful. So no, excessive force was not used.  Peaceful protesters would have reconvened a few yards away after the perimeter was established.  They were just trying to disrespect, defy, and disrupt whatever the president was going to do.  

as a matter of fact they were told to move back by a guy with a megaphone. and an army general i believe for the reserve was observing things and he said no one past about twenty feet could hear the message and that is how things got out of hand. and he was very critical. i thought i posted that article on the pols board but i could be wrong.  as for the tear gas the same general said that in fact tear gas was used as he had to do the tear gas thing in boot like most soldiers and sailors. and he flat out said they were lying about that. and again he was there observing his troops to make sure they were not infringing on the public's right to protest. not sure why i bothered telling you this because you only believe what you want to believe.

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On 7/28/2020 at 8:48 AM, Mikey said:

I don't think tear gas, rubber bullets or mounted officers are excessive force against a mob of rioters. Tanks and live ammo without sufficient warning could be excessive, but since nobody was killed by law enforcement, the force used was just fine.

well what about all the journalists who were clearly marked were shot mikey? i saw a pic on reddick a week or two ago and three journalists were standing there in a pic and each one has lost an eye to a rubber bullet. abother had a teag gas mask on and he almost lost an eye and his teargas mask was destroyed. these cops are shooting at folks because they do not want to be recorded. and i am pretty sure the first ammendant says we have a right to protest. the general i was talking about observing his troops and getting gassed said he wanted to make sure his troops did not violate citizen rights.................

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3 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

as a matter of fact they were told to move back by a guy with a megaphone. and an army general i believe for the reserve was observing things and he said no one past about twenty feet could hear the message and that is how things got out of hand. and he was very critical. i thought i posted that article on the pols board but i could be wrong.  as for the tear gas the same general said that in fact tear gas was used as he had to do the tear gas thing in boot like most soldiers and sailors. and he flat out said they were lying about that. and again he was there observing his troops to make sure they were not infringing on the public's right to protest. not sure why i bothered telling you this because you only believe what you want to believe.

Yeah, it's interesting that Cap'n Park Police specified the supposed range on the megaphone in his testimony. Why would he do that? No audio of the conversations. No body cameras. Not calling it "tear" gas, so it doesn't count. 

There were plenty of eye witness accounts. Many, many of them. It was an ambush. 

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1 minute ago, aubiefifty said:

well what about all the journalists who were clearly marked were shot mikey? i saw a pic on reddick a week or two ago and three journalists were standing there in a pic and each one has lost an eye to a rubber bullet. abother had a teag gas mask on and he almost lost an eye and his teargas mask was destroyed. these cops are shooting at folks because they do not want to be recorded. and i am pretty sure the first ammendant says we have a right to protest. the general i was talking about observing his troops and getting gassed said he wanted to make sure his troops did not violate citizen rights.................

Some have been convinced by their shepherd that the (non-alt-right) media are the enemy and will see no problem with this. 

Edited by McLoofus
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Just now, McLoofus said:

Yeah, it's interesting that Cap'n Park Police specified the supposed range on the megaphone in his testimony. Why would he do that? No audio of the conversations. No body cameras. Not calling it "tear" gas, so it doesn't count. 

There were plenty of eye witness accounts. Many, many of them. It was an ambush. 

many of the cops or soldiers are the problem. reddit had a pic of a young girl talking to a cop or soldier while he had a rifle or shotgun about two inches from her face. now i understand the cops have a hard job but if they break the law they are just as guilty.

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1 minute ago, McLoofus said:

Some have been convinced by their shepherd that the (non-alt-right) media are the enemy and will see no problem with this. 

yep. and the ignore the facts of white racists arrested pretending to be antifa and encouraging people to hurt others and loot and burn stuff down. i think that was a rolling stone article but they had facts and names as well. these storm troopers that i belive some or right leaning are using this stuff to get back or get even and they do not care if the law is broken and neither does anyone on the right for that matter.

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1 hour ago, aubiefifty said:

as a matter of fact they were told to move back by a guy with a megaphone. and an army general i believe for the reserve was observing things and he said no one past about twenty feet could hear the message and that is how things got out of hand. and he was very critical. i thought i posted that article on the pols board but i could be wrong.  as for the tear gas the same general said that in fact tear gas was used as he had to do the tear gas thing in boot like most soldiers and sailors. and he flat out said they were lying about that. and again he was there observing his troops to make sure they were not infringing on the public's right to protest. not sure why i bothered telling you this because you only believe what you want to believe.

See OP.  It was a major in the National Guard. A West Point grad.

Barr continues to lie about the use of tear gas.  Did it yesterday in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Edited by homersapien
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10 hours ago, homersapien said:

Barr continues to lie about the use of tear gas.  Did it yesterday in front of the House Judiciary Committee.

Barr didn't get a chance to tell the truth or tell a lie. The embarrassing display of bitterness and hate put on by the Dems would put a hellfire and brimstone traveling preacher to shame.

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10 hours ago, aubiefifty said:
On 7/28/2020 at 8:48 AM, Mikey said:

 

well what about all the journalists who were clearly marked were shot mikey? i saw a pic on reddick a week or two ago and three journalists were standing there in a pic and each one has lost an eye to a rubber bullet

I'd like to see some verification that three journalists lost an eye to rubber bullets.

As for the others, they are not peaceful protestors. They are hooligans who are destroying property, both public and private. If state or local authorities won't put a stop to it, the the Federal Government should. If the rioters don't want to get injured, they should stop destroying things that don't belong to them and go home. If they don't stop, tear gas and rubber bullets are pretty mild compared to what they actually deserve.

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8 hours ago, Mikey said:

I'd like to see some verification that three journalists lost an eye to rubber bullets.

As for the others, they are not peaceful protestors. They are hooligans who are destroying property, both public and private. If state or local authorities won't put a stop to it, the the Federal Government should. If the rioters don't want to get injured, they should stop destroying things that don't belong to them and go home. If they don't stop, tear gas and rubber bullets are pretty mild compared to what they actually deserve.

it was on the front page of reddit with pics and who was who. i am not a member but they still allow you to read what they call their "front page". and since you only follow right wing news you would not have heard of it. google is your friend. hell i would google it for you but i doubt you would even read it. then it would be fake news..........

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8 hours ago, Mikey said:

I'd like to see some verification that three journalists lost an eye to rubber bullets.

As for the others, they are not peaceful protestors. They are hooligans who are destroying property, both public and private. If state or local authorities won't put a stop to it, the the Federal Government should. If the rioters don't want to get injured, they should stop destroying things that don't belong to them and go home. If they don't stop, tear gas and rubber bullets are pretty mild compared to what they actually deserve.

Indiana journalist loses eye to tear gas canister during demonstrations against George Floyd's death

By Anagha Srikanth

Police threw tear gas canisters into crowds of protesters demonstrating against police violence in cities across the country this weekend. Outside the Allen County Courthouse in Fort Wayne, Ind., one of those canisters hit 21-year-old Balin Brake, a weekend editor at a local television station.

Brake was taken to the hospital with a ruptured eye and fractured occipital bone, according to a post tied to a Facebook fundraiser set up by his mother, Rachel Simonis. In a selfie taken after surgery, Brake revealed that he had lost his eye. By Monday, the fundraiser had exceeded the initial goal of $40,000 set to cover his medical bills.


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8 hours ago, Mikey said:

I'd like to see some verification that three journalists lost an eye to rubber bullets.

As for the others, they are not peaceful protestors. They are hooligans who are destroying property, both public and private. If state or local authorities won't put a stop to it, the the Federal Government should. If the rioters don't want to get injured, they should stop destroying things that don't belong to them and go home. If they don't stop, tear gas and rubber bullets are pretty mild compared to what they actually deserve.

here is one with a list mikey" if you read it please tell me i was right and you were wrong......and no excuses

 

usatoday.com

Journalists blinded, injured, arrested covering George Floyd protests nationwide

13-16 minutes

As protests across the U.S. raged over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, police forces aimed to disperse demonstrators. 

In some incidents, members of the news media appeared to be targeted, by police and protesters alike. 

“Targeted attacks on journalists, media crews and news organizations covering the demonstrations show a complete disregard for their critical role in documenting issues of public interest and are an unacceptable attempt to intimidate them,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, program director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. “Authorities in cities across the U.S. need to instruct police not to target  journalists and ensure they can report safely on the protests without fear of injury or retaliation.”

Unrest in America:  Peaceful protesters lament violence at George Floyd demonstrations, but understand the rage behind it

The CPJ said it is investigating reports of attacks and arrests in Louisville, Kentucky,  Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

U.S. police have arrested or attacked journalists more than 110 times since May 28, according to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism.

On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a lawsuit on behalf of a freelance journalist that alleges a pattern of attacks on journalists carried out by the Minneapolis Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol "tramples on the Constitution."

President Donald Trump has verbally attacked the media throughout his term. Saturday afternoon, he tweeted a message that "Fake News is the Enemy of the People." Sunday, he accused the media of "doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy."

Publisher of USA TODAY and president of news for the USA TODAY Network Maribel Wadsworth, editor in chief of USA TODAY Nicole Carroll and vice president of local news for the USA TODAY Network Amalie Nash called on Sunday for attacks on journalists to end.

"We must be able to do our jobs safely," they wrote. "We call for an immediate end to law enforcement harassment and targeting of journalists who are clearly identified, not interfering in police activity and just doing their jobs: Bringing truth to the American people."

USA TODAY Network journalists 

Monday night, Asbury Park Press reporter Gustavo Martínez Contreras filmed an extraordinary moment as police and protesters took a knee together during a rally at Asbury Park. Officers moved to clear the streets of protesters who remained out past a citywide curfew when they arrested Martínez Contreras. He was issued a summons for failing to obey an order to disperse and was released from police custody early Tuesday morning.

Also on Monday, Delaware News Journal reporter Jeff Neiburg and video strategist Jenna Miller were covering protests in Philadelphia when they were detained for about two hours, despite showing their credentials several times and saying they were media. They were released shortly after 9 p.m. and won't be charged. 

Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Patrick Brennan was briefly detained Monday evening by police while covering protests in the city. Media are essential workers and were exempt from the citywide curfew. Brennan was released without being charged. Cincinnati Police later apologized for the incident.

Late Sunday, Des Moines police arrested reporter Andrea Sahouri, of the Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network, for failure to disperse while she was covering the George Floyd demonstration at a local mall that turned violent.

In a video apparently recorded in a police transport vehicle while still at the Merle Hay Mall and then posted on Twitter, Sahouri said police sprayed her in the face with pepper spray after she identified herself as a member of the media. "I'm press. I'm press. I'm press," she said she told police. 

KCCI earlier showed Sahouri sitting on a curb with her hands zip tied behind her back. It appeared she was wailing in pain from the pepper spray. 

Another reporter who was with her at the event was not arrested but shared the same account with editors before Sahouri posted her video on Twitter.

Sahouri was released hours later and charged with failure to disperse and interference with official acts.

On Saturday night, Branden Hunter, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, went to an emergency room in Detroit after police administered tear gas during a protest. A cellphone, which was livestreaming the event, was  knocked from a Free Press photographer's hand.

Free Press reporter JC Reindl was taken to an emergency room after he was pepper sprayed, though he showed a badge identifying himself as a member of the media.

Molly Beck and Lawrence Andrea, USA TODAY Network reporters for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, were tear-gassed and pepper-sprayed early Sunday morning in Madison, Wisconsin.

Late Saturday night, Paul Woolverton, a reporter for the Fayetteville Observer, also part of the USA TODAY Network, was attacked while shooting video at a looting of a J.C. Penney in the area and was treated for a concussion at a hospital.

Tyler J. Davis, a Des Moines Register reporter, was in Minneapolis Thursday, detailing the night of demonstrations when he observed police using chemical irritants to subdue protesters. 

"I pulled out my camera to record the incident while being sure not to walk toward officers or have any other items in my hand," Davis wrote in an essay for USA TODAY. "The officer redirected his chemical spray from the fleeing duo toward me."

Davis said the officer "laid on the trigger for a few seconds" as Davis told him he was a journalist.

"My eyes refused to open, and my face and arm felt as if they were dipped in a deep-fryer," he wrote.

According to USA TODAY reporter Natalie Neysa Alund, Louisville police shoved Memphis Commercial Appeal photographer Max Gersh twice with their batons.

Journalists covering peaceful protest in Lafayette pushed back with tear gas

While several journalists were covering a peaceful protest at Lafayette Square outside the White House on Monday evening, federal law enforcement cleared the area using tear gas and flash-bang grenades before a curfew took place in Washington, D.C. Several journalists, including members of the Australian press, were affected and pushed back.

The area had been cleared so that Trump could pose for a photo in front of St. John's Episcopal Church.

On Tuesday, United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan issued a statement in which he said: "No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park," despite numerous witness reports of chemical irritants being used to disperse the crowd.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, says that "several different compounds" fall under the umbrella of the tear gas term.

"Riot control agents (sometimes referred to as 'tear gas') are chemical compounds that temporarily make people unable to function by causing irritation to the eyes, mouth, throat, lungs and skin," the CDC says on its website.

The Rev. Gini Gerbasi, who serves as rector at the St. John’s Episcopal Church, said she was at the scene Monday evening as a "peaceful presence in support of protesters," Religious News Service reported. Gerbsasi said she was there with another seminarian who "got tear gas in her eyes" and that after they fled, Gerbasi "was suddenly coughing from the tear gas."

Manhattan District Attorney to investigate attack on WSJ reporter

Wall Street Journal reporter Tyler Blint-Welsh tweeted Sunday night that New York Police Department hit him "in the face multiple times with riot shields" and pushed him to the ground.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. issued a statement Monday that said the office is "actively monitoring social media and other sources to identify investigative leads into claims of excessive force."

Student journalists pepper sprayed

Three student journalists for The Lantern, the school newspaper of Ohio State University, were pepper sprayed Monday night while covering protests in Columbus, Ohio, after they identified themselves as media. News media were exempt from the curfew imposed by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

National reporter arrested; broadcasts interrupted

Protesters pummeled and chased Fox News journalist Leland Vittert outside the White House early Saturday.

Vittert said the attack clearly targeted his news organization. "We took a good thumping," he told The Associated Press.

His live shot was interrupted by protesters at Lafayette Park in Washington, who shouted obscenities directed at Fox. Flanked by two security guards, he and photographer Christian Galdabini walked away, trailed by an angry group before riot police dispersed them.

"The protesters stopped protesting whatever it was they were protesting and turned on us, and that was a very different feeling," Vittert said.

Friday in Minneapolis, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was arrested while covering protests.

Jimenez and his crew were arrested on air by members of the Minnesota State Patrol after identifying themselves and showing their press credentials. 

"We are live on the air at the moment. ... Just put us back where you want us, just let us know. Wherever you want us, just let us know," Jimenez told police officers before one came behind him with handcuffs. “Do you mind telling me why I’m under arrest, sir?"

After getting identification information from himself and his crew, he said, "they eventually came back with our belongings … unclipped our handcuffs" and led the crew out.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz apologized at a news conference and said he takes "full responsibility" for the incident.

"There is absolutely no reason something like this should happen," he told journalists.  "This is a very public apology to that team."

CNN's headquarters in Atlanta was damaged Friday by a group of protesters who fought with police and set cars afire. While police tried to keep them away from the CNN Center, demonstrators broke windows and scrawled obscene graffiti on the network's logo.

Saturday night, MSNBC journalist Ali Velshi wrote on Twitter that he was "hit in the leg by a rubber bullet" in Minneapolis but was fine. "State Police supported by National guard fired unprovoked into an entirely peaceful rally," he said.

'Fired tear gas ... at point blank range'

Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske said Saturday evening that she was at the 5th Precinct in Minneapolis with "at least a dozen" journalists when members of the Minnesota State Patrol advanced toward the group. She said the journalists identified themselves, but officers "fired tear gas canisters on us at point-blank range."

Hennessy-Fiske said they asked officers where they should go to avoid dispersal tactics. "They did not tell us where to go," she said. "They did not direct us. They just fired on us."

She said she "got hit with a rubber bullet ... maybe two."

Reuters producer Julio César Chávez said early Sunday morning that he "was shot in the arm and the back of my neck with rubber bullets" and his security adviser "was shot in the face," though a gas mask protected him.

Another Reuters photographer, Lucas Jackson, said that late Saturday night in Minneapolis a man disguised as a medic attacked him with a crowbar, breaking the camera he was using to document the protests. He was "a white man with a Red Cross on his chest who came out of nowhere," Jackson said.

Vice News correspondent and producer Michael Anthony Adams shared video of Minneapolis troopers approaching him and several other journalists Sunday morning at a gas station where they had taken shelter. Though he shouted "press" multiple times, one officer ordered him on the ground before another came and pepper sprayed him.

Photographer permanently blinded

Freelance photographer Linda Tirado wrote on Twitter early Saturday morning that she was struck by a rubber bullet on her left eye in Minneapolis and went to a hospital to have emergency surgery. In an update a few hours later, she reported that she became "permanently blind" in her left eye but that she would continue to work.

The Denver Post said photographer Hyoung Chang was covering a protest Thursday night in downtown Denver when police fired two pepper balls directly at him.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Saturday, photographer Ellen Schmidt and freelance photographer and former Review-Journal employee Bridget Bennett were arrested while covering protests on the Strip.

In Louisville early Saturday morning, protesters vandalized a car with the logo of  news station WLKY on the driver side door. According to one of the station's reporters, Deni Kamper, chief photographer Paul Ahmann was attacked by a mob of protesters and thrown to the ground. Kamper posted on Twitter that Ahmann was "being treated but is also ok."

The previous day in Louisville, WAVE 3 News reporter Kaitlin Rust and photojournalist James Dobson were struck by pepper balls fired at them by a Louisville Metro Police Department officer. WAVE 3 news issued a statement to "strongly condemn the actions of the LMPD officer."

In Phoenix, a protester charged and made contact with CBS 5 and 3TV reporter Briana Whitney Saturday night outside Police Department headquarters.

The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department said Sunday that three journalists were injured by protesters. KDKA photojournalist Ian Smith tweeted Saturday evening that he “was attacked by protestors downtown” and that he was “bruised and bloody but alive.” He said his camera was destroyed, but “another group of protesters” pulled him to safety.

Contributing: Katie Akin, Des Moines Register, Kim Willis and Sara M. Moniuszko, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

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you people on the right kill me. you think everyone is a liar because you do not believe something. by gawd if you call this one fake news you will being saying that about dozens of news sources.....

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21 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

you people on the right kill me. you think everyone is a liar because you do not believe something. by gawd if you call this one fake news you will being saying that about dozens of news sources.....

So none of the journalists who lost eyes were in Lafayette Square?

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3 minutes ago, Grumps said:

So none of the journalists who lost eyes were in Lafayette Square?

read the article grumps. i spent enough time posting it and on half a cup of coffee. i did my due diligence posting proof so do yours by reading it. and besides why does it matter which protest it happened at? people were still hurt and lose eyes, etc.

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50 minutes ago, aubiefifty said:

you people on the right kill me. you think everyone is a liar because you do not believe something. by gawd if you call this one fake news you will being saying that about dozens of news sources.....

Fake news. I still see only one journalist who claims to have lost an eye. I think saying three lost eyes is similar to the numbers of Wuhan Virus cases we are seeing reported. IE, reality tripled.

20 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

 i saw a pic on reddick a week or two ago and three journalists were standing there in a pic and each one has lost an eye to a rubber bullet.

You posted this, so list the three. I've yet to see more than one and I did read your entire post. About being exposed to tear gas, shot with rubber bullets and so forth, war corespondents get killed in battle, it's an occupational hazard. If writers want to get involved in riots up close and personal, that's their decision but injuries they may suffer as a consequence are nothing more than an occupational hazard.

If they don't want to feel some pain, go to the park and write about butterflies. Just watch out for those bees. Bees have stingers and the poor, helpless dears might get stung. Oh, the horror!

Edited by Mikey

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1 minute ago, Mikey said:

Fake news. I still see only one journalist who claims to have lost an eye. I think saying three lost eyes is similar to the numbers of Wuhan Virus cases we are seeing reported. IE, reality tripled.

You posted this, so list the three. I've yet to see more than one and I did read your entire post. About being exposed to tear gas, shot with rubber bullets and so forth, war corespondents get killed in battle, it's an occupational hazard. If writers want to get involved in riots up close and personal, that's their decision but injuries they may suffer as a consequence are nothing more than an occupational hazard.

If they don't want to feel some pain, go to the park and write about butterflies. Just watch out for those bees. Bees have stingers and the poor, helpless dears might get stung. Oh, the horror!

did you read the second article mikey? i told you i am not a member of reddit and those photo's only last a day for those that browse without signing in.

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