The protests started off peacefully but quickly turned violent as demonstrators set fires, attacked police, and vandalized buildings.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
More than 60 Secret Service special agents were injured over the weekend as violent rioters took to the streets in Washington, D.C. to protest the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed in Minneapolis by police last week.
Protesters threw “bricks, rocks, bottles, fireworks and other items” at agents and were “kicked, punched, and exposed to bodily fluids,” according to a statement from the Secret Service. Eleven agents were sent to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The Secret Service also said no one crossed the White House fence and no agent was ever in any real danger.
Seven people rioting near the White House were reportedly arrested by the Secret Service and at least 4,000 people were arrested throughout the city by police over the weekend.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that many Secret Service agents were “just waiting for action” and ready to unleash “the most vicious dogs, and the most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.”
In contrast with the president’s tweets, the Secret Service said it “respects the right to assemble and we ask that individuals do so peacefully for the safety of all.”
The protests that began on Friday originally started off peacefully but quickly turned violent as demonstrators set fires, attacked police, and vandalized buildings.
Fires and break-ins were being reported near the White House on Sunday night and NBC Washington captured an aerial view of black smoke engulfing the area around the president’s residence.
Smoke from multiple fires rising up in front of the Washington Monument #Chopper4 looking south from Maryland, White House center screen. #BreakingNews @nbcwashington #protests2020 #GeorgeFloydProtests pic.twitter.com/WNtPkgYCtD
— Brad Freitas (@Chopper4Brad) June 1, 2020
To help control the riots, the National Guard was activated by the secretary of the Army at the request of local police.
In addition, Trump was briefly escorted to a secret bunker for protection.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.