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ACLU Demands Barr Name Special Prosecutor To Probe Lafayette Square Crackdown


President Trump and his advisers, including Attorney General William Barr, walk through Lafayette Square on June 1 after it was cleared of protesters. Trump then posed for photos holding up a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church. Patrick Semansky/AP

Civil liberties advocates are urging Attorney General William Barr to name a special prosecutor to investigate possible violations of protesters' rights during the June 1 crackdown in Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., NPR has learned.

Federal officers deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and smoke canisters to scatter the mostly peaceful group of demonstrators, clearing the way for President Trump to pose for pictures in front of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church.

The crowd had been kneeling, praying and chanting, "I can't breathe," some of the last words of George Floyd, the man killed by police after his arrest in Minneapolis. Floyd's death on May 25 sparked the national protest movement about the treatment of Blacks by law enforcement.


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