The most chilling aspect of Trump's Monday night crackdown on law-abiding protesters - 2020-06-01

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F0.png The most chilling aspect of Trump's Monday night crackdown on law-abiding protesters June 1, 2020, Matthew Yglesias, Vox

Monday evening's images of peaceful protesters in Washington, DC's Lafayette Square being attacked and gassed by federal law enforcement officers were chilling.

Reflecting on them, what's even more alarming is the context. The officers began their assault just after 6:30 pm — less than half an hour before a 7 pm curfew that had already been ordered by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was set to take effect. Legally speaking, the crowd should have dispersed then and there would have been no problem with the president strolling across the park to do his photo op at St John's Church. Realistically, the odds are good that the crowd would not have dispersed. But starting at 7 pm, a group of officers forcibly expelling protesters from the park would have been enforcing the law.

Doing it at 6:36 pm or so served no real purpose except to make the law enforcement action flagrantly abusive. And that itself sends a powerful message.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Matthew | last = Yglesias | title = The most chilling aspect of Trump's Monday night crackdown on law-abiding protesters | url = https://www.vox.com/2020/6/1/21277610/monday-lafayette-square-tear-gas | work = Vox | date = June 1, 2020 | accessdate = June 2, 2020 }}