U.S. Park Police told Vox on Friday that it was a “mistake” for them to have previously insisted no tear gas was used to disperse a crowd of peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. on Monday. The crowd was hit with an irritant so President Trump could walk to a church for a photo-op.
Trump administration officials have insisted for days that no tear gas was used, despite witnesses reporting burning eyes, and despite CS tear gas canisters being found at the scene. Park Police said in their initial statement that no tear gas was used by any federal agency, and they’d instead deployed “smoke canisters and pepper balls.” (Both would come under the CDC’s definition of tear gas as a synthetic chemical irritant used for riot control.)
“The point is we admitted to using what we used,” Sgt. Eduardo Delgado told Vox. “I think the term ‘tear gas’ doesn’t even matter anymore. It was a mistake on our part for using ‘tear gas’ because we just assumed people would think CS or CN [which are the two most common types of tear gas].”