Pepper spray fired at protesters during clashes near White House
Law enforcement early on Wednesday appeared to fire pepper spray at protesters during clashes near the White House, as demonstrations in the city over George Floyd’s death continued for another night.
At about 1 a.m., six hours after the curfew put in place in the city went into effect, police responded after protesters allegedly threw fireworks and other projectiles through and over a newly erected fence outside of Lafayette Square, CNN reported.
Officers countered those alleged attacks with the use of pepper spray and what witnesses said appeared to be flashbangs, CNN reported.
Correspondent Alex Marquardt said he believed the response came from D.C. National Guard members, adding he didn’t see any park police responding to the crowd of about 200-250 protesters, only military police.
Law enforcement appeared to blast pepper spray toward a live CNN camera outside of the square shortly before 1 a.m. as the reporter repeatedly yells, “Press.”
Here’s footage of pepper spray being shot directly at a live CNN camera on H Street by Lafayette Park moments ago. pic.twitter.com/Puk2zxbt3b
— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 3, 2020
NBC Washington reporter Shomari Stone also posted a video shortly before 1 a.m., saying officers sprayed pepper spray at protesters who were shaking the fence and throwing water bottles and gallons of milk outside Lafayette Square.
His video shows demonstrators attending to a protester who appeared to be sprayed.
BREAKING. Military Police spray protesters with “OC spray” after they continued to shake the 8 foot fence and threw water bottles, gallons of milk at Lafayette Square Park. @msnbc #GeorgeFloydProtests pic.twitter.com/wMr8tyv7Ln
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) June 3, 2020
Protests in D.C. remained peaceful until nightfall when some left and the crowd had become much younger and begun throwing projectiles, The Washington Post reported.
The clashes early Wednesday came after law enforcement forcibly removed protesters from Lafayette Square on Monday at least 15 minutes before the city’s curfew. Shortly after the dispersal, President Trump walked to St. John’s Episcopal Church and posed for photos with a Bible.
The Post reported that many of the demonstrators said they were out Tuesday because of the Monday incident in Lafayette Square.
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