A force trained to safeguard peaceful protests turns on them

WASHINGTON (AP) — The violent clearing of demonstrators from the nation’s premier protest space in front of the White House is spotlighting a tiny federal watch force created by George Washington. The few hundred officers in the U.S. Park Police safeguard iconic federal sites like the Lincoln Memorial and Statue of Liberty, and peacefully manage hundreds of demonstrations a year at the sites. Democratic lawmakers want answers about the clubbing, punching and other force deployed by some Park Police in routing protesters from the front of the White House on Monday. Former Park Police officials call the brute tactics unprecedented by a force specially trained as guarantors of the right to protest.