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New video shows federal police holding tear gas launchers, rolling stinger grenade at protesters

US Park Police deny firing any tear gas canisters or "Stinger Ball" grenades obtained by WUSA9 crew. A video reported by the Washington Post refutes their denial.

WASHINGTON — The US Park Police and fellow law enforcement agencies continue to state that neither tear gas nor “stinger ball” grenades were used to clear protesters outside Lafayette Park on June 1. That’s despite a WUSA9 investigation revealing physical evidence gathered on the scene by our crews. 

“USPP officers and other assisting law enforcement partners did not use tear gas or OC Skat Shells to close the area at Lafayette Park," Park Police Acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan continues to say. 

But now, video first reported by The Washington Post reveals federal Bureau of Prison officers, identified by their insignia, were holding the launchers required to fire the tear gas canisters WUSA9 gathered on the streets.

RELATED: No law enforcement agency admits to using tear gas Monday, but tear gas canisters were found at the scene

Credit: The Washington Post

The video further shows one officer, from an unidentified agency, carrying what appears to be an OC natural tear gas canister. We can tell because of the orange marking on the canister, which a former military weapons expert told WUSA9 marks OC canisters. 

Neither the Bureau of Prisons nor US Park Police would comment on the video.

Credit: The Washington Post

Analyzing WUSA9 video from the scene shows federal officers, including US Park Police, were prepared for tear gas. Most officers can be seen wearing gas masks right before WUSA9 reporters watched canisters getting launched on Pennsylvania Ave and 17th Street. When WUSA9 crews were picking up gas canisters on H and 17th a few minutes later, these Park Police officers were still wearing gas masks.

Credit: Becca Knier
US Park Police wearing gas masks on H & 17th minutes after tear gas was deployed June 1, 2020 near Lafayette Park

The canisters WUSA9 collected included this canister for artificial CS tear gas, again something the US Park Police said it, nor any of its assisting agencies, ever fired.

Credit: Nathan Baca
OC and CS gas canisters collected by WUSA9 outside Lafayette Park Monday

Georgetown University medical professor Ranit Mishori said OC and CS gas can put the medically vulnerable at risk. 

"People with lung disease, asthma, COPD, or young children can have long-standing harmful effects from this gas," Dr. Mishori said. 

The DC chapter of the ACLU added the US Bureau of Prisons to their lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump Administration, the Park Police and the DC National Guard on behalf of some of those medically vulnerable. They include a 9-year-old boy brought by his mother to what his family thought would be a peaceful protest.

RELATED: ACLU sues Trump administration for tear gas being used on protesters

“When this cloud begins to dissipate, people start running, and people start fleeing the area," Mishori said. "And when that happens, oftentimes there’s an effect of a stampede, people fall and injure themselves." 

Video obtained by the Washington Post shows US Park Police officers, identifiable by uniform, on H Street near 16th Street rolling a Stinger Ball Grenade at protesters.

A reconstruction of the events that led to the clearing of Lafayette Square on Monday evening reinforces that the area was cleared at the direction of Attorney General William P. Barr and strongly suggests that it was cleared to facilitate President Trump's visit to St. John's Church, just north of the White House.

WUSA9 collected a Stinger Ball grenade remnant on H and 17th minutes after it was released. It sprays rubber pellets at high velocity, and its label shows it had natural OC gas inside.

RELATED: Sting Ball Grenades were used in Lafayette Square Monday

Credit: Nathan Baca
A federal police "Stinger Ball" collected by a WUSA9 crew Monday night at H & 17th St.

US Park Police denied they used Stinger Ball grenades, even after WUSA9 showed them our evidence. We have now sent them video of their officers throwing one, but Park Police has not yet responded with a comment. 

Credit: The Washington Post

WUSA9 is pressing for answers because of people like this woman visiting from California. Her hip was wounded by a police pepper ball last Monday outside Lafayette Park. 

Credit: Kurt Brooks
WUSA9's Mike Valerio assists a tear-gassed protester June 1, 2020

WUSA9’s Mike Valerio gave her Milk of Magnesia to comfort the pain in her eyes after running through police tear gas. 

Credit: Kurt Brooks
Tear-gassed protesters hug each other outside Lafayette Park June 1, 2020.

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