Washington, D.C., descended into utter chaos Sunday as an 11 p.m. curfew kicked in, with fires set in Lafayette Square and the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church burning.
President Trump, meanwhile, tweeted “FAKE NEWS!”
The intriguing tweet was posted an hour after The New York Times broke the news that Secret Service agents had rushed him to a White House bunker on Friday night, as hundreds of protesters rallied outside.
Fires and break-ins were reported near the White House Sunday night as protesters continued to demonstrate against violence against African Americans at the hands of police officers. Sunday was the sixth day of emotional and sometimes violent protests, triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last week after he was pinned at the neck by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
Multiple fires broke out in Lafayette Park, and police told USA Today that two Target stores in the area had been broken into.
“It looks like a war zone outside the White House,” tweeted Democratic strategist and consultant Adam Parkhomenko above a short video showing fire and thick smoke behind graffiti-covered cement barriers.
“There’s been way too many lives taken by police,” Travis Sinclair, 29, a Silver Spring, Md., salesman at a private equity firm, told USA Today. “And there’s been little or no action taken against them … They can’t just keep killing people.”
Meanwhile, firefighters fought a blaze set at St. John’s Episcopal Church, a historic house of worship across the street from the White House.
The 11 p.m. curfew issued by Mayor Muriel Bowser did not seem to slow anyone down, reported Politico.
Protesters surrounded Lafayette Square, demanding more action against the officers involved in Floyd’s death. Police lobbed tear gas, reported NBC affiliate WPGC-TV, and fireworks appeared to scatter the protesters.
The White House told staffers reporting to work on Monday to hide their security badges coming and going, CNN said.
The fire at St. John’s Church continued to burn into the night on Sunday.
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