Protests near White House tense as demonstrators clash with police

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Protests near the White House turned tense Sunday afternoon as thousands descended on the area to call for justice for George Floyd.

Loud chants of “black lives matter” can be heard from the White House grounds, but officers from the Park Police and US Secret Service were keeping them far back from the heavily fortified Executive Mansion.

Besides the stepped-up law enforcement presence, the White House was unusually quiet for a Sunday as staffers were encouraged to keep away from the complex. “Due to ongoing demonstrations, please avoid coming to the White House Complex today if it all possible,” an email alert to staffers stated.

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Al Arabiya’s Washington Bureau Chief Nadia Bilbassy was on a nearby street close to the White House when protesters surrounded one police vehicle.

“One of the protesters attempted to climb onto the police vehicle and tried to break the window. Police then approached the crowd of protesters and fired tear gas to disperse them,” Bilbassy reported.

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Tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to participate in protests over the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who died last week after a white police officer pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes while Floyd was on the ground handcuffed in Minneapolis.

(With The Associated Press)

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