Low-flying helicopters used to force DC protesters to disperse

A helicopter circles low as demonstrators kneel to protest the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Authorities used low-flying helicopters to force demonstrators to disperse Monday night as protests erupted for a fourth night in D.C. following the police-custody death of George Floyd.

Footage from multiple witnesses shows that the helicopters kicked up trash and debris, flinging it through the air.

One account from a New York Times reporter said the aircraft knocked down “part of a tree fell, nearly hitting passerbys (sic).”

Some videos show demonstrators scattering as helicopters created violent gusts on the ground. Other videos show protesters kneeling.

It was not immediately clear which department sent the helicopters.

President Donald Trump had threatened to use military force against protesters Monday.

Military helicopters remained on patrol during the early morning hours Tuesday in the skies over D.C. to disperse crowds of protesters out past the city’s curfew.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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