One characteristic of authoritarian regimes is the tendency to unleash violence on peaceful protestors. Another is to tell lies that don’t even try to sound plausible, which display raw power more than lies that try to sound plausible to.
Anyway, here’s the Attorney General of the United States:
"Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It's not chemical" — AG Barr uses painstaking distinctions to defend the use of force against protesters near the White House last Monday pic.twitter.com/CQbtqLwfIk— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 7, 2020
I’m so old I remember when apocryphal stories that a government possessed chemical weapons it was willing to deploy against its own citizens were the pretext a Republican administration used to destroy a country.