As people across America protest in the name of George Floyd, a black man who died after Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the rallies outside The White House have yet to cease.
As President Donald Trump gave a speech from the White House Rose Garden on June 1, viewers could hear protesters just outside getting pelt with rubber bullets and sprayed with tear gas. While authorities have since adjusted how close protesters can rally outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as captured by Fox 5 reporter Tom Fitzgerald on Thursday, the White House is now adding even more protection around the premises.
The concrete jersey walls are in addition to the extra fences already added around the White House borders. Fitzgerald tweeted, “The White House is effectively caged in today surrounded by brand new steel fencing circling the entire perimeter around the executive complex as #GeorgeFloyd protests continue in DC.”
On Thursday, however, D.C. officials announced that on the sixth night of protests in the nation’s capital, there were no arrests made. The evening curfew in D.C. has also been lifted.
Video Showed Authorities Violently Clearing Protesters in Lafayette Park Before Trump Walked to St. John’s Church
Trump did not take questions from the media following his six-minute speech in the Rose Garden on Monday. Instead, he announced that he needed to pay homage “to a very special place.”
Soon after, Axios reporter Alexi McCammond tweeted, “Source tells me park rangers are clearing Lafayette Park (with tear gas) because President Trump is going to walk to St. John’s church from the White House soon.”
CBS News White House reporter Mark Knoller tweeted, “Standing in front of St. John’s Church, boarded up against violent protests, and with senior staff at his side, plus Attorney General Barr, Pres Trump says ‘we have the greatest country in the world.’ Holding a Bible, he says he’ll keep the country ‘nice and safe.’”
Reverend Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, told the Washington Post that she was “outraged” at Trump’s trip to visit St. John’s, which she didn’t know about until she saw it on the news.
“I … was not given even a courtesy call, that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enflame violence,” Budde said.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper Slammed Trump’s Violent Response to Protesters In Lafayette Park
Following President Donald Trump’s speech from the Rose Garden on Monday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper shared his disbelief that Trump had authorities hit peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets so he could walk to St. John’s Church to pose for pictures.
“Oh my God. Wow. We are in trouble,” Cooper told fellow CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins. “He was hiding in a bunker and embarrassed that people know that. So what does he have to do? He has to stick police on peaceful protesters so he can make a big show of being the little big man walking to a closed down church.”
“He always talks about how the world is laughing at the governors right now, [but] the only person the world is laughing at is the President of the United States,” Cooper continued. “And this event, if it wasn’t so dangerous and disgusting, it would be funny because it’s just so low rent and sad.”
Cooper added, “I planned to come tonight and trying to be as calm and reasonable and straightforward — and do this hour of news. And this happened. I can’t believe this is what we have. This is the President we have. They wanted a disrupter? Well, yeah. That’s what disruption is.”