x
Breaking News
More () »

Washington, DC's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Washington, DC | WUSA9.com

Protesters, police, tear gas, looting: Chaos unfolded after Saturday's 'Justice for George Floyd' protests

"Justice For George Floyd" protests lasted for hours around the District before all converging near the White House and destruction followed.

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."

RELATED: Live updates: Looting in City Center; demonstrators destroy Georgetown businesses as protest continues

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. 

RELATED: US Park police, protesters face off near White House

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.

RELATED: National Guard units seen in DC streets amid George Floyd protests

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.

RELATED: Fire breaks out near Hay Adams Hotel on second night of Justice for George Floyd Protests

By 9 p.m., crowds swelled to the hundreds in front of the White House, clashing with authorities there.

Credit: AP
Demonstrators watch an American flag burn as people gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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.

Credit: AP
Demonstrators vent to police in riot gear as they protest the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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.

Credit: AP
A firework explodes by a police line as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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.

RELATED: George Floyd protests in Prince William County, streets blocked, police warn citizens

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.

RELATED: Photos: Protesters take the streets of DC following death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

Credit: AP
EDS NOTE: OBSCENITY - Demonstrators walk in Washington on Saturday, May 30, 2020, during a rally to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

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."

RELATED: 'Nothing less than murder' | DC Police Chief Peter Newsham responds to video of George Floyd's death

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. 

RELATED: 'Our power is in peace' | Mayor Bowser responds to President Trump's criticism of protest response

Bowser added that the National Guard would be deployed if, and when needed. That's exactly what happened later Saturday.

Watch: George Floyd death sparks DC protest

Download the brand new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.