Protests in DC: Mayor urges “calm” after protests erupted near the White House for the second night in a row

Protests in DC: Mayor urges "calm" after protests erupted near the White House for the second night in a row

“We are sending a very clear message to people that they have the right to exercise their First Amendment rights, but not to destroy our city,” Bowser said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “We saw a level of destruction and chaos among some that was maddening.”

The DC Fire Department extinguished two vehicle fires in the area north of the White House on Saturday night, as well as several small fires in the downtown area. Some protesters also put graffiti on some buildings.

DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said Sunday that the Metropolitan Police Department had arrested 17 people Saturday night and that 11 MPD officers were injured during the protests. None of the officers suffered life-threatening injuries, although one officer undergoes surgery for multiple compound fractures in the leg after a protester threw a stone at him.

Newsham said that of the 17 people arrested, eight live in DC or have some ties to the area.

He said police hope to make more arrests, as the department is asking private companies to review their security images, and will ask the DC community to help identify those who were damaging property or hurting people. .

More than 60 employees of the Secret Service of EE. USA They were injured from Friday night to Sunday morning near the White House, according to a Secret Service statement.

Bowser tweeted that the city would be under a curfew from 11 PM ET on Sunday until 6 AM ET on Monday.

The Democratic Mayor urged President Donald Trump to help “calm the nation” and stop sending “divisive tweets that are meant to remember our country’s segregationist past.”

On Saturday, Trump wrongly accused Bowser in a tweet of not allowing the DC Metropolitan Police Department to help the Secret Service stay in control of the situation with protesters in Lafayette Square on Friday night. That claim was later refuted by the US Secret Service. The US, who confirmed in a statement that the DC Police Department and US Park Police were on the scene.
Bowser responded to Trump on Twitter on Saturday., saying that the DC police department, “will always protect DC and everyone in it if I agree with them (such as those who exercise their First Amendment Law) or those who do not (ie @realdonaldtrump) “

The DC mayor said that while Trump “hides behind his fence in fear / alone,” she is with people “peacefully exercising his First Amendment right after the murder” of Floyd and “hundreds of years of institutional racism.”

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Trump also tweeted that the protesters “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs and the most sinister weapons I have ever seen,” if they had breached the fence outside the White House.

At a press conference Saturday, Bowser noted that Trump’s reference to “sinister dogs” was not “a subtle reminder” of segregationists who would attack African Americans with dogs.

Bowser said Sunday that the city is working on cleanup after the protests and is coordinating with police “to ensure calm in our city.”

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Skirmishes between protester groups and law enforcement broke out near the Trump residence on Saturday night for the second consecutive night as tensions unfolded over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis who was immobilized by the police.

Some protesters continued to gather in downtown Washington, DC, in Lafayette Square, which is across from the White House, until Saturday night, but police did not allow other protesters to enter.

Occasionally, some protesters attempted to enter the park. They were greeted with pepper spray or other mechanisms that pushed them back.

Separately, a group marched and then gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. At one point, viewers reported that pepper spray was being used. The area around the monument was cleaned.

The goal of law enforcement was to erect a large gap between the protesters and the White House. Authorities wanted to prevent large numbers of protesters from congregating at the barriers that are permanently installed in front of the White House.

Newsham called the police behavior “incredibly responsible, heroic in many cases” and said he does not expect Sunday night to be “a repeat of the night before.”

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Still, a police source tells CNN that the US Park Police. The US, in a situational report on Sunday afternoon, informed police forces stationed in Lafayette Park that protesters have brought boxes of rocks to a nightly protest outside the White House.

Another person was observed with a bat, according to the report. The information was shared with other law enforcement agencies available for the protest, the source said.

The previous Sunday, White House executive office staff received an email urging them to stay away from the White House complex, if possible, due to “ongoing protests.”

“Due to the ongoing protests, avoid coming to the White House Complex today if possible,” the email says, in part. “The White House currently maintains a high security posture.”

The email directs “essential” employees, who still need to work at the complex, to a specific entrance and to follow the instructions of the Secret Service.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Rebecca Grandahl, Kaitlan Collins, Chris Turner, Alex Marquardt and Greg Clary contributed to this report.

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