Rioters lit fires at various locations in Washington, DC, today, including near the White House, as violent unrest continued for the second day in the nation’s capital in protests over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer.
D.C. Fire and EMS confirmed that fires had been lit in a building adjacent to the Hay Adams hotel, close to Lafayette Square and the White House. They confirmed that the fire had not spread into the hotel and that firefighters were on the scene to extinguish it.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a former candidate in the Democrat presidential primaries, attended protests outside the White House earlier today.
Box Alarm 800 block of 16th St NW. #DCsBravest are extinguishing a fire primarily involving multi story scaffolding in an alley adjacent to the Hay Adams Hotel. There is no fire extension into the hotel. pic.twitter.com/lAhQRdp7sn
— DC Fire and EMS #StayHomeDC Lite (@dcfireems) May 31, 2020
The D.C. National Guard, who were deployed to the city earlier today, joined up with Secret Service across from the White House at Lafayette Park. An SUV was set alight near the same location.
An SUV has been set alight at the intersection of Connecticut Ave. and I Street, a block over from Lafayette Park. Police flushed everyone out with flashbangs.
Flames spread to a tree and a small structure on the sidewalk. DC Fire has an engine on it. pic.twitter.com/e3HL6SP3cI
— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) May 31, 2020
Police fired tear gas at protesters. Earlier in the evening pepper spray and rubber bullets were also deployed.
BREAKING: Police fire teargas at #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd protesters causing a stampede in Lafayette Park across from White House. DC National Guard is now occupying the park-the first time since the Vietnam War. #BlackLivesMatter #DCProtest pic.twitter.com/9iCnEilV2O
— DCMediaGroup (@DCMediaGroup) May 31, 2020
Violent riots and clashes with the Secret Service escalated outside the White House throughout the day. One protester could be seen brandishing a sign bearing the slogan “The People Want Blood.”
On Twitter, President Trump attacked the Democrat leadership of Minnesota, where violent riots first broke out, for failing to contain the unrest.
“The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do,” said President Trump. “Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!”
The National Guard has been released in Minneapolis to do the job that the Democrat Mayor couldn’t do. Should have been used 2 days ago & there would not have been damage & Police Headquarters would not have been taken over & ruined. Great job by the National Guard. No games!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2020
Violence continues across major American cities including Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Newark, and New York among others. In Texas, a violent mob stormed the state capitol, vandalizing police vehicles and property.
Officials in Minnesota, where the riots first broke out, said they would use “contact tracing” to determine the instigators of violence. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) has ordered a full mobilization of the state’s National Guard, for the first time in the state’s history.
In Dallas, TX, graphic footage emerged on social media of a man being beaten nearly to death after he attempted to defend a storefront armed with a sword.
In Salt Lake City, UT, a man was beaten and had his car destroyed after he attempted to fend off rioters armed with a bow and arrow.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.