Livestreamed Committee Hearing on June 29 on Lafayette Square Crackdown Will Feature Injured Reporter, Wounded Protester, Bishop Mariann Budde
Washington, D.C. – The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Monday, June 29, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on the violent June 1 law enforcement crackdown against peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. The hearing will be the first formal congressional inquiry on the incident, which ended with President Trump’s now infamous photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House.
The hearing, which will be livestreamed on Facebook at https://bit.ly/3epQ6ms and YouTube at https://youtu.be/Wc09gsqOvlA, will feature testimony from Amelia Brace of Australia’s Seven News, who was attacked by law enforcement despite clearly identifying herself and her cameraman; Kishon McDonald, a Navy veteran and Black Lives Matter protester wounded during the crackdown; and the Right Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, which includes St. John’s Episcopal Church. The hearing announcement comes soon after the Department of the Interior Office of Inspector General agreed to investigate the issue at the request of Chair Grijalva, Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). More information about that investigation is available at https://bit.ly/3dtdDSb.
The hearing will focus on establishing what happened before and during the crackdown, for which the Trump administration has offered changing and conflicting explanations; understanding the harm done to people and institutions by law enforcement agents’ excessive use of force; and assessing what policy remedies may be required to prevent such excesses in the future.
The crackdown was launched from property under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and featured alleged excesses by the U.S. Park Police. According to the Washington Post, law enforcement officials from other agencies present that day “had no warning that U.S. Park Police, the agency that commanded the operation, planned to move the perimeter — and protesters — before a 7 p.m. citywide curfew, or that force would be used,” calling into question how use-of-force instructions were distributed and why the crackdown occurred in the first place.
The Committee has invited Gregory Monahan, acting chief of the U.S. Park Police, to testify.
Media Contact: Adam Sarvana
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