National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said in a statement the agency is “committed to ensuring people can gather safely to express our most fundamental and cherished right to free speech. This updated policy is designed to be accessible and understandable to both our officers and the public, further strengthening that commitment.”
In June 2020, Barr told Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan he made the decision in the morning of the June 1 demonstration to “increase the perimeter on that side of Lafayette Park and push it out one block.” Barr stood by the forceful clearing of the demonstrators by law enforcement because he said 150 officers were injured. “So it wasn’t a peaceful protest,” Barr said, “We had to get control over Lafayette Park, and we had to do it as soon as we were able to do that.”
The plaintiffs in theses cases are still suing for damages from former Attorney General Bill Barr, Park Police incident commander Mark Adamchik, and several local police forces who carried out the clearing.
“The Trump Administration’s attack on peaceful protesters who were seeking justice for George Floyd and other victims of police violence was an appalling and unnecessary display of force,” Damon Hewitt, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement. “The resolution of this case, while only a partial victory, is a step toward protecting the rights of not only protesters who stand up for racial justice, but also the people who are too often subjected to use of violent force by police in their communities.”
The White House and Secret Service did not immediately respond to requests for comment.