Protests continued in the US capital for a fourth day Monday over the death of George Floyd, with demonstrators flocking to Lafayette Park across from the White House in response to police violence.
Hundreds of protestors defied a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew imposed by Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Ahead of President Donald Trump’s press briefing at the White House, police used tear gas and flash bangs to disperse protestors behind a security barricade at the focal point in the capital.
Intermittent clashes occurred between law enforcers and the protestors.
Floyd, 46, was arrested on May 25 after reportedly attempting to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a store in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Video footage on Facebook showed him handcuffed and cooperating, but police claimed he resisted arrest.
One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, pinned him to the ground and kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Shortly after, Floyd appeared to lose consciousness, but Chauvin maintained his position on the victim.
He died shortly after being taken to a hospital.
His last words were “I can’t breathe,” which became the slogan of the nationwide protests.
Despite curfews in major US cities, demonstrators took to the streets for a seventh day of protests Monday.
Trump said Monday he is mobilizing all federal and local civilian and military resources in response to week-long violent protests.
Speaking at the White House, he described the looting and vandalism during the protests as “domestic terror” and said he has asked every governor to deploy the National Guard “in sufficient numbers that we ‘dominate’ the streets.”
While, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser knocked police Monday for firing tear gas on protestors to pave the way for President Donald Trump to visit a church.
“I imposed a curfew at 7pm. A full 25 minutes before the curfew & w/o provocation, federal police used munitions on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of @DCPoliceDept officers more difficult. Shameful!” she tweeted.
Police backed by the National Guard stormed the peaceful protest at Lafayette Park across from the White House.
Trump made the surprise visit to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC on Monday, which was vandalized during overnight protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of police.
His visit came shortly after he said he would be “going to pay my respects to a very very special place” during a press briefing at the White House.
Later, Trump posed for photos in front of the church and raised a black-covered Bible for reporters to see.
The protests have been raging in the US since a video went viral on social media showing Floyd being pinned down by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, as he was being arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.