February 8, 2021

USA: May 2020, Outside Of White House BLM Antifa Rioters Started Fires, Threw Bottles And Molotov Cocktails At Secret Service Injuring 50. They Burned Down Historic Church, Vehicles, Businesses

Fox News
written by Gregg Re

Sunday May 31, 2020

Numerous Secret Service agents were injured, fires set by rioters blazed near the White House and authorities were searching for car bombs late Sunday as protests over the death of George Floyd continued to roil the capital just two days after President Trump had to be taken to a bunker for his safety.

A senior official in the direct chain of command for defending Washington D.C. told Fox News of the injuries to Secret Service agents, some of whom were hurt by rioters throwing bottles and Molotov cocktails in Lafayette Park, just across from the presidential residence. The official initially put the number of agents injured at over 50, but that may have referred to the weekend toll; the Secret Service has since said the number injured on Sunday was 14.

As observed in New York City and elsewhere, groups in D.C. are planting cars filled with incendiary materials for future use, Fox News is told. U.S. Marshals and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents were deployed to the streets of D.C. in an extraordinary move to beef up security alongside local police and Homeland Security agents, including the Secret Service, the Justice Department confirmed late Sunday. Fox News has learned U.S. Attorney for D.C. Mike Sherwin is heavily involved in the operation.

Lights that normally illuminate the exterior of the White House were disabled early Monday morning, leading to some reports that the Secret Service wanted to use night-vision equipment to monitor protesters. White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told Fox News on Monday, however, that the lights were turned off due to “standard protocol," not for security reasons. The complex's external lights are normally disabled at 11 p.m. ET unless specific requests are made to keep them online, including by media networks.

Additionally, the entire Washington, D.C. National Guard was being called in to help with the response to protests outside the White House and elsewhere in the nation’s capital, according to two Defense Department officials. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday that she had requested 500 DC Guardsman to assist local law enforcement. Later on Sunday, as the protests escalated, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered the rest of the Guardsman — roughly 1,200 soldiers — to report.

As authorities clashed with demonstrators for the third straight night, the parish house connected to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church across the street from the White House was set on fire late Sunday. The parish house contains offices and parlors for gatherings. The basement, which was also torched, is used for childcare during church services, and had recently undergone renovations.

The church says every president beginning with James Madison, “until the present,” has attended a service at the church, giving it the nickname, “the church of presidents.” The first services at the church were held in 1816, according to its website.

"We are fortunate that the damage to the buildings is limited," Rev. Rob Fisher, the rector of the church, said in a statement earlier Sunday, several hours before the fire was set.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) building was also set ablaze near the White House. The AFL-CIO is the nation's largest pro-union group.

An hour before the 11 p.m. ET curfew in D.C., police fired a major barrage of tear gas stun grenades into the crowd of more than 1,000 people, largely clearing Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and scattering protesters into the street.

Protesters piled up road signs and plastic barriers and lit a raging fire in the middle of H Street. Some pulled an American flag from a nearby building and threw it into the blaze. Others added branches pulled from trees. A cinder block structure, on the north side of the park, that had bathrooms and a maintenance office, was engulfed in flames.

Several miles north, a separate protest broke out in Northwest D.C., near the Maryland border. The Metropolitan Police Department says there were break-ins at a Target and a shopping center that houses Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store, T.J. Maxx, a movie theater and specialty stores. Police say several individuals have been detained.

Separately on Sunday, Twitter suspended a small account claiming to represent Antifa, the left-wing group that Trump branded a terrorist organization earlier in the day. The suspension came after the account urged members to go into "white hoods" and "take what's ours." The Twitter account, it later emerged, was actually set up by a known white supremacist group, according to multiple reports. (Twitter and President Trump have sparred in recent days over censorship.)

The developments came as it emerged that the Secret Service took President Trump to the White House's underground bunker on Friday night, when protests outside the complex intensified.

A senior administration official confirmed the information to Fox News after The New York Times first reported the story.

“Wasn’t long. But he went," the official said Sunday.

The White House declined to comment.

“The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Trump's precise position Sunday night was not immediately clear. Trump traveled to Florida on Saturday to view the first manned space launch from the U.S. in nearly a decade. He returned to a White House under virtual siege, with protesters — some violent — gathered just a few hundred yards away through much of the night.


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