Washington: US President Donald Trump had to face widespread criticism after he stood outside a church in Washington for minutes holding a Bible in his hand during a photo shoot, even as the police used teargas and flash grenades to clear his path of peaceful protestors. Several priests were part of the crowd that was teargassed.
Trump was allegedly angry about news coverage that he scampered into a White House bunker on Friday during George Floyd protests, and told his aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, prompting his walk to the church, according to the CNN White House Correspondent.
One protestor said it all happened while they were distributing water and handing out snacks when the police hustled them out to pave the way for Trump's photo shoot. Soon, the police started using tear gas and the crowd was scrambling for eyewashes and wet paper towels.
An exasperated bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Mariann E. Budde, said in an interview: "I am outraged. I am the bishop and was not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing the path with tear gas so that they could use one of our churches as a prop, with Trump holding a Bible. He did not pray. He did not mention George Floyd, he did not mention the agony of people who have been subjected to this kind of horrific expression of racism and white supremacy for hundreds of years. We need a president who can unify and heal. He has done the opposite of that, and we are left to pick up the pieces."
According to Daily Mail.com, an active duty military police battalion is on its way to Washington D.C. to help patrol streets. The deployment marks the first time that the Army has been sent in to patrol US streets since the 1992 LA riots. It came as Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to mobilize 'thousands and thousands' of soldiers in cities across the country to 'end riots and lawlessness.' There was no let-up in violence: Four cops were shot in St Louis on Monday – the seventh consecutive night of mayhem. In New York City, looters descended on luxury stores for a second night in a row as peaceful protests gave way to looting, adds Daily Mail.