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DC mayor decries use of tear gas on peaceful protesters outside White House: 'Shameful'

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience DC limits indoor dining, gatherings The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans MORE (D) condemned the use of tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday evening. 

She noted that authorities acted before the 7 p.m. curfew she had imposed for the city following protests that turned violent the night before and called the decision "shameful."

"I imposed a curfew at 7pm. A full 25 minutes before the curfew & w/o provocation, federal police used munitions on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of @DCPoliceDept officers more difficult," Bowser tweeted. "Shameful! DC residents — Go home. Be safe."

 

Several loud bangs echoed just before President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE took the podium in the Rose Garden on Monday as law enforcement fired tear gas into a crowd of peaceful protesters who had gathered just outside Lafayette Square across the street from the White House.  

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After he spoke, dispatching the military to quell protests in D.C. and threatening to do the same in other cities, Trump walked on foot to the nearby historic St. John's Church and posed for photos.

Members of the D.C. City Council weighed in too, many condemning the use of force on the peaceful protesters.

"These actions are sickening. Protesters are calling for an end to violence by police and the state and the President is throwing gas on the fire by calling them terrorists and sending the military into our city to enforce the mayor's curfew," Councilmember David Grosso tweeted. 

"The killing of George Floyd demands justice not a morally bankrupt president who takes pride in inflaming racial tensions, using the military to suppress peaceful protests and trampling our nation’s fundamental principles of liberty and justice. #WashingtonDCProtest," Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie tweeted.  
 
"Armed Border Patrol headed to DC streets. They’re not keeping DC safe; they’re putting DC lives at risk rather than de-escalating. Pictures like this, glorifying threats of violence, is only intended for an audience of one. He’s holed up & afraid - thinking this is all a game," Councilmember Charles Allen tweeted. 
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau directly hit Trump over his decision to "walk to the church & pose with bible" in her tweet condemning the use of tear gas on the protesters. 

"POTUS makes a speech doubling down on 2nd amendt, no mention of the 1st amendt, deploys every type of fed police he can find, then tear gases civilians peacefully gathered so he can walk to the church & pose with bible? No thanks. DC can handle its own business. #notmypresident," she tweeted.