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U.S. Park Police in Lafayette Square. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday that while it "is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights," it "cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect."

Why it matters: The statement comes one day after NPS officers and U.S. Secret Service were accused of using physical force and tear gas to disperse peaceful protestors outside the White House so that President Trump could visit St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo op.

  • NPS claimed that officers did not use tear gas, but "employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls" in response to "violent protesters" throwing "projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids."
  • Yes, but: A number of reporters and even clergy members present on the scene claimed that protesters were peaceful aside from a few tense moments.

What they're saying: NPS stated that they originally "issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators on H Street to evacuate the area," and that "horse mounted patrol, Civil Disturbance Units and additional personnel were used to clear the area."

  • NPS notes that U.S. park police have made no arrests. 51 members of the USPP have been injured amid protests, with 11 transported to the hospital and released and three admitted.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 11, 2020 - World

U.S. officials condemn Belarus election and "senseless" protest crackdown

Belarus riot police detain a protester after polls closed in the presidential election in Minsk on Sunday, the first of two nights of unrest across the country. Photo: Siarhei Leskiec/AFP via Getty Images

Trump administration members, Democratic and Republican lawmakers and former Vice President Joe Biden expressed concern Monday over Belarus' weekend elections and subsequent brutal crackdown on protesters in the country.

Why it matters: President Aleksander Lukashenko, known as "Europe's last dictator," claimed to have won in a landslide against the pro-democracy opposition in a Sunday election widely viewed as rigged.

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1pm the day after the article is transmitted.