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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.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.