Demonstrators defy curfew for 5th day of protests

Protesters gathered Tuesday throughout D.C. for a fifth-straight day in response to the killing of George Floyd under Minneapolis police custody last week.


The latest

  • Protests continued into the night in D.C. People demonstrated near the White House, where law enforcement erected a fence.
  • U.S. Park Police Chief released a statement regarding the alleged use of tear gas by law enforcement to clear the area where President Donald Trump had his picture taken in front of a church.
  • More than 300 were arrested Monday, most for curfew violation, according to D.C. police.

A sizable crowd of protesters returned to the area near the White House a day after law enforcement officials had dispersed demonstrators using forcible methods that are still under scrutiny by local leaders.

One protester’s perspective

WTOP’s Ken Duffy spoke with Mike DeAngelo, who climbed a lamppost and spoke to the crowd.

“We’re all mad, we’re all frustrated,” DeAngelo said. “No matter what your skin color is, this is not white versus black. We already know the history of that story. This right here is love versus hate, right versus wrong. We cannot expect a person that hates us, with generations of teachings and learnings, to overnight, love us. So we’ve gotta protect each other from the ones that hate us.”

DeAngelo enumerated the people that might be filled with hate: police, colleagues at work, neighbors.

“You’ve gotta be able to learn to move in faith, and not in fear. I’m tired of being scared to walk out the door to go to the store to make sure my kids eat and don’t know if I’m going to make it back home just because of my skin color. We’re tired of moving with that paranoia.”

DeAngelo went on to say that everyone needs to move forward together, and his raised fist, which he asked everyone in the crowd to mimic, was not a sign of anger, but a sign of victory.

“You’ve gotta fix yourself to fix the world,” he said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she doesn’t intend to extend the curfew that was in effect Monday and Tuesday.

Despite increased and controversial police activity, additional road closures and the continuing curfew, protesters still gathered en masse:

Members of the D.C. National Guard stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial monitoring demonstrators during a peaceful protest Tuesday. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Troops load up into personnel carriers to head into downtown D.C. along East Capitol Street near the Armory on Tuesday. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Mike DeAngelo got up on a lamppost and spoke to the crowd on Tuesday night. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

An aid station with milk, water and other items for protesters is set up on a corner just north of Lafayette Square. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette park accross the White House on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. - Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette park accross the White House on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. – Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, USA - JUNE 2: People hold banners during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States on June 2, 2020 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA – JUNE 2: People hold banners during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States on June 2, 2020 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Late Tuesday afternoon, protesters gathered at the newly installed fence around Lafayette Park.

Tuesday afternoon more protesters gathered north of Lafayette Park.

With the White House in the background, a line of police forms behind a fence in Lafayette Park as demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

President Donald Trump visits Saint John Paul II National Shrine with first lady Melania Trump, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington.

A demonstrator sits in front of police as people gather to protest the death of George Floyd, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

People including Kevin Antlitz, an Anglican priest, left, take a knee during a protest of the visit of President Donald Trump to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington.

Sister Quincy Howard, center, a Dominican nun, protests the arrival of President Donald Trump to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington.

Signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Killing Black People” hang on an overpass on North Capitol Street in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, following days of continuing protests over the death of George Floyd.

People hold signs as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s motorcade passes on their way to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A man walks past a boarded up shop after the unrest from the past few nights in downtown D.C. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Troops load up into personnel carriers to take them toward the city from the Joint Force Headquarters of the D.C. National Guard on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Protesters hold signs as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s motorcade passes on their way to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

D.C. National Guard vehicles are staged in front of the Ronald Reagan Building as the city braces for more demonstrations and protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A man holds a sign as he dresses as Abraham Lincoln during a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where President Donald Trump planned a visit, in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where President Donald Trump planned a visit, in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, where President Donald Trump planned a visit, in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators stage a protest near the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in response to the death of George Floyd while under police custody as the motorcade of President Donald Trump leaves after his visit June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

A sign is seen as President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s motorcade passes on their way to visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington,D.C.

A Wells Fargo Bank near the White House is boarded up, after the unrest from the past few nights, in downtown D.C. on June 2, 2020.

A member of a D.C. government cleaning crew cleans a street near the White House in the morning hours on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.

Secret Service agents arrest a man along Constitution Avenue near the White House in the morning as protests continue over the death of George Floyd in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

Ericka Ward-Audena, of Washington, puts her hand on her daughter Elle Ward-Audena, 7, as they take a knee in front of a police line during a protest of President Donald Trump’s visit to the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Washington. “I wanted my daughter to see the protests, it’s really important. I’ve gotten a million questions from her because of it,” says Ward-Audena, “I think the most egregious statement was ‘when they start looting, we start shooting.’ That crossed a line for me.” Protests continue over the death of George Floyd, who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers.

Workers carry large wood boards past the historical St. John’s Episcopal Church across Lafayette Park from the White House in the morning hours in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Security forces block the road as protesters gather near Lafayette Park ahead of President Donald Trump’s trip to St. John’s Church in Washington, on June 2, 2020.

Security forces block the road as protesters gather near Lafayette Park ahead of President Donald Trump’s trip to St. John’s Church in Washington, June 2, 2020.

(1/32)
Demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd hold up placards near Lafayette park accross the White House on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. - Anti-racism protests have put several US cities under curfew to suppress rioting, following the death of George Floyd in police custody. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - JUNE 2: People hold banners during a protest over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after being pinned down by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States on June 2, 2020 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

A group of protesters moved from the White House up 14th Street, turned west onto U Street, and then headed back south on 16th Street. Road closures were announced throughout the afternoon in response to protest activity:

DC details Monday’s arrests

More than 300 were arrested Monday, most for curfew violation, according to D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham.

“Every indication that I had is when the arrests were being effectuated, there was no resistance by anybody that was being arrested,” Newsham said.

Bowser criticized federal officials’ handling of the protests and reignited a call for D.C. statehood Tuesday, saying federal police used munitions on peaceful protesters ahead of Monday’s curfew.

“We have an emergency response in the District and we’re going to continue to work with all of the federal agencies who are here; we’re going to continue to let the people know who are responsible for these decisions, how wrong we think it is, and how it doesn’t make us safer,” Bowser said.

Shortly after officers engaged protesters Monday evening, President Donald Trump posed for pictures in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Tuesday, the president and first lady visited the Saint John Paul II National Shrine and were met by protesters.

Black Lives Matter activists and clergy members knelt and held signs outside the shrine during the president’s visit. On Monday, the president was criticized by religious leaders after posing in front of St. John’s holding a bible but not addressing the reason for nationwide unrest.

Elsewhere in the D.C. area on Tuesday, a group of high school students organized a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Bethesda, Maryland:

Students talked about racism in their community and in the school system, saying hateful incidents by students and staff in schools are often brushed aside.

The group ended the rally with a peaceful march through downtown Bethesda.

In Howard County, protests at Columbia Mall shut down all buses leaving and going to the mall. Audrey Barnes with the City of Laurel said in a Tweet the Regional Transportation Agency shut down bus service early Tuesday.

Park Police’s statement on 4th day of protests at Lafayette Park

The acting head of the U.S. Park Police Gregory T. Monahan said that “violent” protesters on H Street NW started throwing projectiles, such as bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids at around 6:30 p.m. and around the same time that the president had a briefing at the White House Rose Garden on Monday.

Monahan said protesters climbed a “historic building at the north end of Lafayette Park that was destroyed by arson days prior.” St. John’s Episcopal Church was damaged by fire during the third night of protests on Sunday.

The church is where Trump walked after his briefing Monday and had his picture taken while holding up a Bible after the park was cleared of protesters.

Monahan said Park Police issued three warnings over a loudspeaker to alert demonstrators to evacuate the area, and horse-mounted patrol, civil disturbance units and additional personnel were used to clear the area.

He said officers used smoke canisters and pepper balls — not tear gas — to continue to clear the area. Then a fence was installed, Monahan said.

“Intelligence had revealed calls for violence against the police, and officers found caches of glass bottles, baseball bats and metal poles hidden along the street,” Monahan said in a statement.

Several reports from the scene allege that tear gas was used to clear the area, read the answer to answers to some of the questions that arose over what happened.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino, Dan Friedell and John Domen, reporting from Bethesda, Maryland, contributed to this report. 

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up