What's bad about the ACLU
US protests: Civil rights activists sue against Trump administration
After the crackdown on mostly peaceful protesters near the White House, civil rights activists sued the administration of US President Donald Trump. Trump, Attorney General William Barr and other government officials have unlawfully jointly violated the civil rights of protesters who were forcibly evicted from Lafayette Park on Monday, according to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the Black Lives Matter DC group and other activists.
During the controversial operation, security forces fired smoke bombs and pepper spray bullets into the crowd. Shortly afterwards, Trump went across the cleared area to a nearby church in order to have himself photographed with an upraised Bible in a PR campaign aimed at his voters. The ACLU spoke of a "coordinated and baseless attack on the crowd of demonstrators". Trump, Barr and others have "illegally conspired" to violate the rights of protesters.
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The demonstrators had protested against police violence and racism after the killing of the black man George Floyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis. During the course of the protest, violence erupted over several nights, fires were kindled, window panes broken, shop shelves looted and dozens of police officers injured. The government deployed officials from several areas: Among other things, soldiers from the National Guard were sent to the capital. The Justice Department sent elite units such as the FBI hostage rescue team and riot police from the prison authorities. The park police and the Secret Service had each sent dozens of officers onto the streets. Officials from the border and customs authorities and other civil defense units were also deployed.
Police in charge of the parks began an investigation after officers were seen hitting Australian journalists with a shield while displacing protesters.
Attorney General Barr justified himself on Thursday. He ordered the action against the demonstrators because the police should have expanded a safety radius around the White House beforehand. However, when he arrived there that afternoon, his instructions had not yet been implemented.
Members of Congress expressed concern about a number of officials who refused to name their employer and were traveling in Washington, D.C. without visibly identifying them. Some MPs announced that they would introduce laws that would require officials to identify themselves during protests. "We are concerned about the increasing militarization and lack of clarity that could worsen the chaos," wrote House Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi in a letter to Trump.
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