EXCLUSIVE PICTURES: Police use pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets on White House protesters demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism in America

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The police on Saturday used pepper spray, tear gas and what appeared to be rubber bullets on protesters who stormed President Donald Trump‘s White House in Washington D.C. to demand justice for George Floyd, a black man chocked to death in broad day light in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday by white cop Derek Chauvin.

Chauvin has been fired, arrested and charged with third degree murder, his wife Kellie Chauvin has filed for divorce, but the other three fired cops who participated in the killing of Floyd have neither been arrested nor charged with any crime, and that has continued to fuel the protests across the United States.

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The mainly peaceful protesters demanded an end to police brutality against other black people and the abolition of all deep seated racism in the United States.

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Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
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They were white, black and brown people who came from inside and outside of the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States of America.

Protester at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protester at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

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They were men, women and mainly young people, who carried placards and chanted “black lives matter”.

Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

They were mainly peaceful, and tight from the very beginning, before it was dark, police used excessive force sporadically against the unarmed protesters who converged at the White House and sought to break through barriers at Lafayette Park.

Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

It was the second consecutive day that the nationwide demonstrations over George Floyd’s death reached President Donald Trump’s doorstep.

Protester at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protester at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

With their hands up, the demonstrators chanted “hands up, don’t shoot, hands up, don’t shoot, hands up, don’t shoot”. They added: “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe” which were the last words spoken by George Floyd as he was being choked to death with a knee last Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

The protesters also chanted and held placards that read “No racist police, no justice, no peace”.

Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

As tension went up, a very small number of protesters tossed non threatening objects like plastic bottles and small bricks pulled out of a sidewalk toward the cops.

Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

Things, however, escalated at night when several cars and dumpsters were set on fire a few blocks from the White House by the protesters who also smashed windows and spray painted buildings as the night went on.

Police maintaining law and order as protesters storm the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Police maintaining law and order as protesters storm the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

Around 9 p.m., Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy directed the D.C. National Guard to activate following a request by U.S. Park Police, according to a a statement by Commanding General William Walker.

Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Protesters at the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Police maintaining law and order as protesters storm the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC
Police maintaining law and order as protesters storm the White House on Saturday, May 30, 2020, demanding justice for George Floyd and end to racism against black and brown people in the United States. Photo: SIMON ATEBA, TODAY NEWS AFRICA, WASHINGTON DC

Elsewhere in the country, clashes between protesters and police continued well into the night on Saturday and may proceed on Sunday as authorities in Minneapolis fail to arrest and charge the other three cops who participated in the public murder of George Floyd.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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