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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.

Tim Scott hopes to reintroduce version of GOP police reform bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday he plans to reintroduce his police reform bill or a similar proposal in the coming weeks and that he has discussed a potential compromise with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Why it matters: Eyes have again turned to Washington to take steps to address police reform in the wake of Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict Tuesday, after efforts stalled in Congress last year.

Biden announces small business tax credits for vaccine PTO

Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday called on all employers to provide workers paid time off to get vaccinated or recover from COVID side effects, and said he'll include a paid tax credit for small businesses that do so.

Why it matters: The Biden administration sees workplaces as highly influential in making shots more convenient for working adults who are in high-risk industries.