Over 1,250 Ex-DOJ Workers Call For Probe Into Barr’s Role In Clearing Protesters
Last week, law enforcement officials aggressively cleared protesters from Lafayette Square in the nation’s capital to make way for a presidential photo-op. They cleared the protesters with horses and tear gas to disperse the thousands of people in the area.
Now, over 1,250 former Department of Justice employees are calling for an investigation into Attorney General William Barr’s role in clearing out the protesters, according to the Washington Post.
- The group drafted a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz expressing that they were “deeply concerned about the Department’s actions, and those of Attorney General William Barr himself, in response to the nationwide lawful gatherings to protest the systemic racism that has plagued this country throughout its history.”
- They specifically noted Barr’s role in dispersing the group of peaceful protests at Lafayette Square last Monday, calling it a politically motivated event facilitated by Barr.
- The former employees are demanding an immediate internal investigation.
- The group was composed of both Democrats and Republicans who range from prosecutors to supervisors and trial lawyers.
- Barr has previously defended the forceful police action. He suggested the crowd was unruly and violent, throwing bottles. However, the United States has seen officers respond with disproportionate and potentially lethal force in response to agitated crowds over the past two weeks.
- Further, he has insisted the clearing of Lafayette Park was not ordered to facilitate Trump’s visit to the church.
- The Attorney General also made false claims about the use of tear gas and whether or not pepper spray was a chemical agent. It is.
The former officials added, “Especially in view of the events in Lafayette Square, we have no assurance that these officers are lawfully deployed, that they will respect the rights of the civilians they encounter, or that there are proper mechanisms in place to identify and investigate possible law enforcement misconduct.”
It is unclear if Horowitz has the jurisdiction to conduct this investigation, because the inspector general is typically legally restricted from investigating allegations pertaining to department lawyers and the legal decisions they make.