WASHINGTON - More than 60 Secret Service officers and special agents sustained multiple injuries in three days worth of violent clashes stemming from protests demanding justice for George Floyd in Washington, D.C.
The uprisings overflowed from Lafayette Park and continued near the White House on Saturday night and early into Sunday morning. Protesters in the area had taken to the streets since Friday to condemn police brutality.
Some demonstrators repeatedly attempted to knock over security barriers and vandalized six Secret Service vehicles, the agency said in a statement on Sunday.
Protesters threw bricks, rocks, bottles, fireworks and other items at officers and some Secret Service personnel were also "directly physically assaulted as they were kicked, punched and exposed to bodily fluids," the statement added.
At least 11 employees were treated at local hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police holds a perimeter in front of burning and rolled over vehicles during a protest near the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested for Floyd's death and is accused of kneeling on Floyd
"No individuals crossed the White House fence and no Secret Service protesters were ever in any danger," the agency said.
President Trump said he "couldn't have felt more safe," from inside the White House on Saturday as agitated protesters defaced property and burned flags nearby.
D.C. police helped equip Secret Service agents with riot gear, including helmets, which are not a usual part of their protective gear, Chief of Police Peter Newsham said on Sunday.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser pleaded for protesters to remain peaceful and not attack law enforcement.
“We certainly recognize and empathize with the outrage people feel following the killing in Minneapolis last week. The killing of George Floyd wasn’t the first. People are expressing outrage and demanding action,” she said. “We also recognize that we are proud of our city and do not want our city to be destroyed.”
"The Secret Service respects the right to assemble, and we ask that individuals do so peacefully for the safety of all," the agency said.