WASHINGTON, D.C. — Southern Poverty Law Center Action President and Chief Executive Officer Margaret Huang released the statement below regarding tear gas and flash grenades being used against peaceful protesters Monday before President Trump was photographed in front of St. John’s Church, where there was a fire over the weekend:
“Make no mistake, President Trump’s actions are not only reprehensible, they are an abuse of his oath of office and a complete disregard for protesters’ constitutional rights. He continues his war against peaceful protest, sowing division and inciting violence at a time when he should be bringing the nation together.
“Trump has now taken a page from the despot playbook by threatening military involvement under the cloak of public safety. By going out of his way to stoke division and fear among Americans, he is destroying our country instead of working to unify and heal it.”