Pepper spray fired at protesters during clashes near White House

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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.”

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. 

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.

Tags D.C. National Guard demonstrations Donald Trump George Floyd George Floyd death George Floyd protests Lafayette Square Law enforcement pepper spray Police Protests Washington D.C. White House

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