Democratic Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island is calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the role Attorney General William Barr and other top White House officials played in the use of force by U.S. Park Police (USPP) on Monday to disperse protesters before President Trump’s highly criticized walk to St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington.
“Given the issues at stake, and your evident role in suppressing the right of the American people to redress their grievances, it is clear that a special prosecutor must be appointed to investigate your actions and the actions of all executive branch officials involved in this action.”
The Park Police acknowledged using smoke canisters and pepper balls on the protesters.
“As many of the protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers’ weapons, officers then employed the use of smoke canisters and pepper balls when protesters did scatter from the area," the statement said.
Soon afterward – and just as Trump was about to address the media in the Rose Garden – law enforcement officers were forcing the protesters back into the crowd to disperse them from the park.