As protests swept the nation following the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department last week, some of the most iconic monuments in Washington, D.C. were vandalized Saturday night.
The affected monuments, photos of which were posted in a tweet by the National Mall National Park Service (NPS), included the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the statue of General Casimir Pulaski.
It is not clear to what extent any other monuments might have been vandalized.
“In the wake of last night’s demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall,” The National Mall NPS tweeted. “For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition.”
Floyd, who is black, died, according to officials, after an officer used his knee to pin Floyd to the ground by his neck as Floyd gasped for air and was not visibly resisting arrest in several minutes of the incident caught on video.
The officer who pinned Floyd to the ground, Derek Chauvin, was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Saturday night’s demonstrations were reprised on Sunday night as Washington, D.C. Mayor Murial Bowser ordered a curfew for city residents beginning at 11 p.m. A tweet from Bowser’s account said that “[s]he has also activated the DC National Guard to support the Metropolitan Police Department.”
Video showed gatherings of protesters near the White House setting fires Sunday night.
On Saturday night President Trump went to the bunker underneath the White House as the U.S. Secret Service worried about the president’s safety while demonstrators approached White House grounds.
“It wasn’t long,” a senior administration official said of the action taken to protect the president, “but he went.”
The Secret Service said that “demonstrators repeatedly attempted to knock over security barriers, and vandalized six Secret Service vehicles” on Saturday, leading to one arrest.
On Sunday, as protests again ramped up in D.C. and around the country, the Secret Service asked people to stay away from the White House.
“In an effort to ensure public safety, pedestrians and motorists are encouraged to avoid streets and parks near the White House complex,” the Secret Service tweeted.