Protesters march through DC, clash with police after shootings

Hundreds of protesters marched throughout Washington, D.C., on Friday evening, with some engaging in clashes with police, calling for an end to police brutality following a series of fatal shootings and as the end of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder trial nears. 

Demonstrators initially gathered for a rally at Black Lives Matter Plaza in downtown D.C. before walking through the streets and chanting the names of individuals killed by police, including 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop last week, and 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed after a police officer allegedly saw the boy holding a gun. 

As D.C. protesters passed by local restaurants with outdoor dining, one demonstrator chanted through a megaphone, “While you are dining, Black people are dying.” 

Footage posted on social media showed altercations between police and some demonstrators as protesters attempted to walk through dining areas. 

Videos also showed some protesters launching fireworks as they marched, and The Washington Post reported that some demonstrators threw fireworks and a scooter directly at officers, with some shining laser pointers at those who were trying to disperse the crowds. 

Additional protests are expected in the nation’s capital, with just days left until closing arguments in the trial for Chauvin, who is facing multiple charges in connection with the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. 

Graphic footage of the incident showed Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes. The incident and recent police shooting deaths of young people of color have prompted a wave of civil unrest in cities across the country. 

According to local CBS affiliate WUSA, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department on Thursday sent an email to officers informing them that beginning Monday morning, the department will be “fully activated to support expected First Amendment demonstrations.”

“All members should be prepared to work extended hours as necessary,” the message added, noting that all leave and optional sick days would be canceled and that all officers would be placed on 12-hour shifts. 

The demonstrations in the District occurred as protesters also took to the streets of Chicago on Friday, a day after the city released body camera footage from the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. 

The officer, who has since been identified as Eric Stillman, can be heard in the video from the March 29 incident telling Toledo to drop his gun twice before shooting the 13-year-old in the chest, though the footage doesn’t clearly show a gun in Toledo’s hand.

Protesters have urged the Chicago Police Department and Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) to take action in response to the shooting, calling it another instance of unwarranted use of force, while current and former law enforcement officials have argued that Stillman was justified in his actions.

Tags Adam Toledo anti-police brutality Black Lives Matter CBS Chicago Daunte Wright demonstrations Derek Chauvin George Floyd Killing of George Floyd Lori Lightfoot police brutality protests The Washington Post Twitter Washington D.C.

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