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Park Near White House Vandalized During Anti-Israel Protest, No Arrests Reported

Law Enforcement Agencies Fail to Detain Vandals at Lafayette Park Demonstration

Various law enforcement agencies reported no arrests following the anti-Israel protest on Saturday that resulted in vandalism at a park next to the White House. The Secret Service, D.C. police, and U.S. Park Police informed The Washington Free Beacon that they did not detain anyone related to the demonstration at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., which left several statues defaced.

As noted by NBC News, police attempted to arrest one person who climbed a statue, but the individual evaded capture when the crowd intervened, and officers resorted to deploying pepper spray. Video posted to X by reporter Julio Rosas showed police officers leaving the park while being followed by protesters chanting “You have to leave” and “F*** the police.”

“Anti-Israel protesters formed a mob and chased US Park Police and Secret Service out of Lafayette Square after officers apparently tried to arrest someone,” Rosas said. “Police are no longer inside the park and are on the boundaries of the protest.”

Additional clips on social media revealed people climbing statues, which were covered with graffiti, setting off a red smoke bomb, and unfurling a red banner to represent their “red line” on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Protesters had gathered to urge President Joe Biden to cut military aid to Israel and demand a ceasefire in the Gaza war against Hamas. Biden, however, was in France commemorating the 80th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day invasion.

The Washington Post reported that National Park Service staff power-washed sculptures on Sunday. An agency spokesperson noted “notable damage includes graffiti, damage to some structures, and damage to park infrastructure in Lafayette Park.”

Several lawmakers, particularly Republicans, expressed outrage over images showing statues defaced with messages such as “Free Gaza” before crews could clean them up. “This is the disgusting, disgraceful behavior we’ve come to expect from terrorist sympathizers,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), who is a contender to become former President Donald Trump’s running mate in this election cycle.

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