Curfews were in place in dozens of cities across the United States last night as tensions continued over the killing of an African-American man by a police officer last week in Minneapolis.
New York City officials announced that an 8pm curfew would be extended for the rest of the week – the first time in 70 years that the city has been under nightly lockdown.
Lenny Mansell travelled into DC from Fairfax, Virginia, with his eight-year-old son to demonstrate.
“I don’t see anyone here who seems like a threat,” he said, gesturing at the protesters around him. “It’s those guys I fear”, he said pointing at the heavily armed police behind the newly-erected fence around Lafayette Square in front of the White House.
The nation’s capital was hoping to avoid the violent scenes that unfolded in the city on Monday when police moved protesters from Lafayette Square before a 7pm curfew imposed by the mayor. Minutes later, after threatening to deploy the army to root out “domestic terrorists”, President Donald Trump left the White House by foot, crossed the square and posed with the Bible outside St John’s Episcopal Church.
Mr Trump, who was widely criticised for the action, received further censure from the Catholic Archbishop of Washington yesterday for visiting a shrine to Pope John Paul II in the city, a move the bishop deemed “baffling and reprehensible”.
Elsewhere in the country, dozens of protesters and police officers were injured, some seriously, as demonstrators protested over the death of George Floyd, who pleaded for his life while a white police officer placed his knee on the victim’s neck for more than eight minutes.
Four police officers were shot in St Louis, Missouri, while one police officer was said to be in a critical condition in Nevada.
Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden excoriated Mr Trump in a speech in Philadelphia, a racially diverse city that has witnessed violence and destruction in recent days.