Police in the nation’s capital greater than tripled arrests of activists Monday night time whereas imposing a brand new 7 p.m. curfew supposed to curb property harm.
DC Police Chief Peter Newsham mentioned at a press convention Tuesday that greater than 300 folks had been arrested in the protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police, a dramatic uptick from 88 on Sunday night time and 18 on Saturday.
“The arrests had been primarily to stop the acute violence and destruction that I do know was heartbreaking to everybody in this room,” Newsham mentioned.
The curfew imposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser took impact earlier than sundown and resulted in the mass arrest of 54 folks at an intersection close to the White Home and later 194 folks on a residential road one mile north. Earlier in the day, President Trump mentioned the curfew could be strictly enforced after scenes of lawlessness the prior two nights.
Residents of the scenic ginkgo tree-lined block of townhomes that was the positioning of the most important mass arrest invited dozens of the trapped marchers into their properties and refused to permit officers to arrest them. Many escaped out again doorways or waited till 6 a.m. for the curfew to carry.
Newsham mentioned he would examine social media experiences that properties had been uncovered to chemical irritants in an effort to smoke out activists. He mentioned commanders on the scene advised him that these experiences had been inaccurate.
In one other a part of town Monday night time, a defiant group of almost 500 marchers, together with former Rep. Katie Hill (D-Calif.), went by way of Chinatown and noticed the primary use of low-flying federal helicopters as crowd management, producing wind that stirred up particles and made it tough to face. One tree snapped from the wind.
When the helicopters departed, activists proceeded to spray-paint a courthouse and smash the headquarters of the Teamsters union close to the US Capitol earlier than being repelled by police. The Teamsters, just like the AFL-CIO union, whose headquarters was set on hearth Sunday, characterize some legislation enforcement officers.
The downtown group inflicted some property harm on companies whereas fleeing, together with smashing a Nando’s restaurant. Police splintered the group close to a boarded-up Apple Retailer that was looted Saturday, and not less than one police car pursued jogging protesters, rolled down a window and coated their faces with pepper spray.
Native officers had been assisted by officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration and different federal businesses Monday night time. Newsham mentioned the helicopters used had been federal property, and that if he was “requested in the longer term if that was a useful tactic, my response could be ‘No.’”