Crowds protest Floyd killing and Trump outside White House
Washington — Crowds gathered around the White House late Friday to protest the police killing of a black man in Minneapolis – and President Donald Trump’s response.
Protesters threw bottles and other objects at officers wearing riot gear behind barricades around the White House. Pepper spray was deployed in an effort to disperse the crowd, and police and protesters wrestled over the barricades.
The crowd of hundreds chanted “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name: George Floyd.” A white police officer in Minneapolis killed Floyd on Monday by pressing a knee into his neck while taking him into custody, leading to a national uproar. Protests exploded in dozens of cities around the nation Friday night.
On Thursday, as violence broke out in Minneapolis, Trump tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Trump later said his comments had been misconstrued. “Frankly it means when there’s looting, people get shot and they die,” he said.
The protesters in Washington Friday night chanted curses at Trump, who was in the White House.
Earlier Friday, protesters marched toward the White House after beginning their demonstration several blocks away. At one point, a white male was carried off by police into the nearby U.S. Treasury Department Annex building. The crowd swarmed around the officers, shouting, “Let him go.”
District resident Abe Neri said of Floyd, “I just feel like he’s just one of many names that we’ve had to create hashtags and T-shirts and campaigns for and I feel like nothing has changed. … And so that’s why I’m out here. Yeah, when you say nothing you’re taking the side of the oppressor.”
AP video journalist Nathan Ellgren contributed to this report.