WASHINGTON — Parts of D.C. woke up Sunday to witness damage left by some protesters turned looters who took to the streets and smashed windows of businesses in Georgetown and CityCenter -- the aftermath of hours-long protests that started in different locations around the District before converging near the White House and moving on from there.
The "Justice for George Floyd" protests began in NE D.C. and at Lafayette Square park near the White House Saturday afternoon. Mostly peaceful protesters gathered there chanting "No Justice. No Peace," "Black lives matter," and "Hands up. Don't shoot."
Later in Lafayette Square park, closed off by police sometime before 5 p.m. Saturday, more protesters swarmed the area defying the restriction. As the evening progressed, tensions heightened near the White House. U.S. Park Police and Secret Service agents, dressed in riot gear, were lined up against chanting protesters. And things heightened from there.
Secret Service officials on Saturday released a statement saying they arrested six people during Friday night's protest in front of the White House.
By 6:30 p.m., police squad cars near the White House were smashed near as tensions heated up between protesters and police. D.C.'s National Guard was activated to assist the U.S. Park Police with crowd control.
By midnight, fire broke in the alleyway behind the Hay Adams Hotel with smoke and flames seen for blocks. D.C. fire reported no injuries and extinguished the flames.
By 9 p.m., crowds swelled to the hundreds in front of the White House, clashing with authorities there.
A cloud of smoke could be seen in the background near the White House at Lafayette Park shortly around 9:20 p.m. Protesters screamed "Tear gas. Tear gas" while running away.
Meanwhile, a fire hose being used on protesters at the intersection of 17th and K streets in NW D.C. D.C. fire officials said none of their units were involved. It's unclear if police were involved.
By 10 p.m. police again blocked off Lafayette Park and, by 11:30 p.m. authorities fired more tear gas after protestors shattered glass windows of a building.
Authorities fired a combination of tear gas and flashbangs around 12:30 a.m. Sunday to move protesters down H Street. That's when WUSA's Matt Gregory and his crew took a little bit of the gas. He said protesters stopped to help them breathe and clear their eyes out.
Shelter-In-Place Orders For Manassas
Prince William County residents in Virginia were asked to shelter in place after a protest there turned violent.
Moments after the start of a demonstration in Manassas, Va., protesters turned violent and began throwing bricks, rocks and bottles at passing cars and at police, officials said.
A Virginia State Police trooper suffered a minor injury after he was struck in the head with a brick. His helmet took the brunt of the impact. A second VSP trooper also suffered a minor injury and was struck in the leg with a rock.
State police there used pepper spray and powder to disperse the crowd after several failed attempts of asking them to leave, police said.
Peaceful Protests Earlier Saturday
During an event Saturday afternoon, speakers asked people to put their fists in the air standing in solidarity with each other. Then, they suggested they join the 4 p.m. Black Lives Matter car caravan protest.
The D.C. chapter of Black Lives Matter organized a car caravan protest to honor George Floyd, while still socially distancing.
Grassroots CUA -- an organization that described on its Twitter as "supporting mutual aid networks in DC during COVID-19 and beyond. Not officially affiliated with or endorsed by the Catholic University of America. #WeKeepUsSafe" -- promoted a demonstration Saturday afternoon at 14th and U NW asking for Washington, D.C. to stand in solidarity with Minneapolis and the protests there.
The organization also offered protesters tips to remain safe, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
DC Officials On George Floyd's Death
Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham joined D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for a press conference Saturday discussing the District's response to citywide protests Friday night. Newsham addressed his own reactions to watching the video of Floyd's death, calling it "nothing less than murder."
Meanwhile, Bowser discussed her response to the president's tweets criticizing her response to Friday night's protests. She emphasized that D.C. police "will always protect D.C. and all who are in it," including those exercising their First Amendment right to protest.
Bowser added that the National Guard would be deployed if, and when needed. That's exactly what happened later Saturday.