Police fired tear gas to try to disperse protesters outside the White House early on Monday as violent clashes erupted in the US capital during the sixth night of nationwide demonstrations.
Tear gas and flash bang devices were used against crowds who had gathered outside President Donald Trump’s official residence, chanting, lighting fires and holding up protest signs, AFP reporters said.
Protesters started fires near the White House as tensions with police mounted during demonstrations held in response to the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minnesota.
An hour before the 11 p.m. curfew, police fired a major barrage of tear gas stun grenades into the crowd of more than 1,000 people, largely clearing Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and scattering protesters into the street.
Protesters piled up road signs and plastic barriers and lit a raging fire in the middle of H Street. Some pulled an American flag from a nearby building and threw it into the blaze. Others added branches pulled from trees.
A cinder block structure, on the north side of the park, that had bathrooms and a maintenance office, was engulfed in flames.