Supreme Court Police Car Set on Fire Near Court: Spokeswoman

July 15, 2020 Updated: July 15, 2020

A U.S. Supreme Court police vehicle was apparently doused in gasoline and set on fire outside the court building in Washington, officials said on Wednesday.

“An individual poured an accelerant on and set on fire an unmarked Supreme Court police vehicle parked on Maryland Ave. near First Street, NE,” said Kathy Arberg, spokeswoman for the U.S. Supreme Court, according to Fox News. “The car was totally burned and an adjacent Court vehicle was also damaged.”

A suspect is now in custody, officials said. Video footage uploaded on Twitter showed the car on fire.

The vehicle was parked at Maryland Avenue N.E. in Washington when the fire was started.

The suspect also sustained minor injures when trying to set the police car on fire.

“The individual suffered burns in the process,” Arberg said. “He was taken into custody by Supreme Court Police and was transported by ambulance for treatment of his injuries.”

An adjacent vehicle was also damaged in the incident, officials told The Associated Press.

Police could be seen treating someone near the blaze, The Hill reported. They were placed inside an ambulance and covered in silver burn blankets.

Epoch Times Photo
The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Jan. 19, 2018. (Reuters/Eric Thayer/File Photo)

Marissa Barrera, a policy aide for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), told The Hill that she heard a loud bang and saw people running, describing the car as a “ball of fire.”

The suspect was not identified.

The incident comes amid nationwide unrest following the death of a black man in Minneapolis Police custody, which triggered Black Lives Matter protests and riots. It’s not clear if the arson attempt was linked to the movement.

President Donald Trump said he will be a “law and order” leader.

“Our officers have been under vicious assault,” Trump said on Monday about a wave of anti-police violence and shootings.

He said on Monday, “Reckless politicians have defamed our heroes as the enemy … These radical politicians want to defund and abolish the police.” Trump added: “My administration is pro-safety, pro-police, and anti-crime.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and some House Democrats were slated to hold a news conference in the Capitol near where the fire occurred. The Supreme Court was not in session on Wednesday, according to The Hill.

According to the Supreme Court website, the court’s police department is a federal law enforcement agency and was set up to “ensure the integrity of the Constitutional Mission of the Supreme Court of the United States by protecting the Supreme Court, the Justices, employees, guests and visitors.”