Area around White House to remain closed until June 10

Area around White House to remain closed until June 10
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The area around the White House complex, including all of Lafayette Square, will remain closed to the public until June 10 due to ongoing protests, a Secret Service official said Thursday.

The entire Ellipse on the south end of the White House, E Street and its sidewalks between 15th and 17th streets, Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th streets and all of the park just to the north of the building will remain closed for another week, the official said.

"These closures are in an effort to maintain the necessary security measures surrounding the White House complex, while also allowing for peaceful demonstration," the person said.

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Fences and barriers have gone up around the White House in recent days to keep demonstrators at bay. The fencing expanded on Thursday, raising questions about how extensive and how long-term the additional security measures would be in place.

Protests have persisted in the nation's capital for the past week in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Demonstrators have amassed near Lafayette Square, the Capitol and the Trump International Hotel in recent days to protest police brutality and racism.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) expressed concern on Thursday about cordoning off the White House grounds.

"I’m also concerned that some of the hardening that they’re doing may be not just temporary," she said at a press conference. "Keep in mind that that’s the people’s house. It’s a sad commentary that the house and its inhabitants have to be walled off. I think that’s a sad commentary."

The additional security measures come as protests in D.C. have been largely peaceful in the last two days following a few nights that saw looting and vandalism in certain parts of the city. The district will not have a curfew in place on Thursday after having one each of the last three nights.

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President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE was taken to a secure bunker last Friday when protests closer to the White House grew increasingly unruly, though he later claimed he went to the underground space to inspect it.

Trump has repeatedly called for "law and order" and urged state and local leaders to "dominate" the streets and crack down on protests.

He has mobilized the military to patrol the nation's capital, and law enforcement dispersed protesters from Lafayette Square near the White House on Monday a short time before Trump walked to nearby St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo-op.