Washington D.C. police and protesters engaged in a skirmish Monday afternoon as city officials attempted to clear out a series of tents erected on a street near the White House as part of a protest of the killing of George Floyd.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said District officials had become concerned with the tents going up on H Street Northwest near Black Lives Matter Plaza. On Monday afternoon, police, along with other city agencies, moved in to remove the tents.
“They were creating a potential safety hazard,” Newsham said.
During the operation, Newsham said some demonstrators resisted, and two officers were assaulted. He said police arrested two people, and used pepper spray to move back the crowd.
“We can’t have people setting up tents on public streets,” Newsham said.
D.C. Police spokeswoman Alaina Gertz said police initially responded to the scene around 2:25 p.m. She said some of the officers involved had suffered injuries.
D.C. police officers had closed H Street Northwest Monday afternoon near Lafayette Square and Black Lives Matter Plaza. A few protesters shouted at officers who lined both side of H Street on bikes. Bike patrol officers proceeded moving their bikes in a line down a street, telling protesters to move back.