"Shaken": St. John's rector caught up in tear gas deployment at church - 2020-06-02
Current and former clergy of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church expressed furor and confusion over President Trump's visit on Monday, which he claimed was to honor the establishment after George Floyd protestors sparked a small fire on the property Sunday night.
The big picture: Park rangers and military police deployed tear gas and physical force to disperse peaceful protestors from Lafayette Park, which surrounds the White House, so Trump could walk to "pay respects" to the church — and a former St. John's rector on the scene revealed in a Facebook post that she was left "coughing" from the tear gas.
Details: Rector Gini Gerbasi, who previously worked at St. John's in Lafayette Park and now works at the St. John's in nearby Georgetown, said she was helping the Black Lives Matter organizers, fellow clergy and others hand out water during the peaceful protest when the tear gas and rubber bullets were fired. "That man turned it into a BATTLE GROUND first, and a cheap political stunt second," she said of Trump.