Attorney General William Barr on Sunday insisted that federal forces did not technically use “tear gas” on protesters outside the White House because pepper spray is not a “chemical irritant.”
In an interview on CBS, Barr said that it was a coincidence that the area around the White House was forcefully cleared of protesters minutes before President Donald Trump walked outside the grounds for a photo op last week.
“Three of my colleagues were there,” CBS host Margaret Brennan explained to Barr. “They did not see projectiles being thrown.”
“I was there,” Barr replied. “They were thrown. I saw them thrown.”
“And you believe that what the Park Police did using tear gas and projectiles was appropriate?” Brennan pressed.
“When they met resistance, yes,” Barr said. “They announced three times. They didn’t move. By the way, there was no tear gas used. The tear gas was used Sunday when they had to clear 8th Street to allow the fire department to come in to save St. John’s Church. That’s when tear gas was used.”
“There were chemical irritants used by the Park Police [on Monday],” Brennan pointed out.
“No, there were no chemical irritants,” Barr shot back. “Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It’s not chemical.”
However, many experts disagree with Barr.
“A pepper ball is a projectile that contains chemicals, like pepper spray, that would irritate the eyes and lungs. Such a combination with smoke canisters would create clouds of a chemical irritant that would cause tearing,” USA Today noted in a report last week. “Both are chemical irritants that can causing tearing, coughing and sometimes vomiting. Those symptoms were reported from protesters who were cleared from the park on Monday.”
Watch the video below from CBS News.
WATCH: Portland police in riot gear deploy teargas and then slash tires of medical van
Law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon were seen on video slashing the tires of a medical support vehicle.
According to reports from the scene, the van was providing medical support to anyone injured in the ongoing protests. The vehicle was said to have been repurposed from Timbers Army, a fan group backing a local soccer team.
"Just witnessed PPB riot police stab the wheels out of a medic van as it tried to drive away in accordance with their orders," one photographer noted on Twitter.
Video shared on social media shows riot police using tear gas to clear a street where the vehicle was parked. Before the vehicle can leave, an officer jabs a knife-like object into the tires.
Video shows California cops pointing guns at Black teens who were being threatened by homeless man
Law enforcement officers in Santa Clarita, California were seen on video pointing weapons at Black teens who were allegedly being threatened by a homeless man.
The video was posted by Instagram user Tammilaray.
"I wanted to share what happened to my son yesterday in SCV when he was with a couple of friends sitting at a bus stop headed home," the Instagram user explained. "He was attacked by a gentleman (homeless guy) who approached them and first asked them if they had any crack then tried to take their things."
According to the report, the manager of the nearby Buffalo Wild Wings called the cops to get help for the teens.
‘Back the Blue’ members beat BLM protesters in Colorado ditch: ‘Keep punching each other in the face’
Members of a "Back the Blue" rally were seen fighting with Black Lives Matter counter-protesters in Fort Collins, Colorado over the weekend.
Video posted on social media shows members of the "Back the Blue" group advancing on Black Lives Matter activists. The confrontation eventually becomes a fighting match in a neighborhood ditch.
"Everybody keep their hands off their weapons!" one man can be heard shouting. "Keep punching each other in the face. Don't shoot anybody."
Ciara Wilson posted video of the confrontation on Instagram.
"I was at the Pro Police FCPD rally today," she wrote. "Counter protestors were violently beaten and had no signs of aggression or hostility. Pro Police protestors forced them to the end of the block and then savagely assaulted them. Afterwards the COUNTER PROTESTORS WERE DETAINED. The officers did not tell them why they were being detained. The pro police protestors who literally assaulted these people for no fucking reason other than being PSYCHOPATHS got away with it. I am so sick and tired of this."