Trump Praises Secret Service Following Protests That Caused Lockdown at White House

May 30, 2020 Updated: May 30, 2020

President Donald Trump praised the response of the U.S. Secret Service following protests outside the White House overnight.

“Great job last night at the White House by the U.S. Secret Service,” he wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday morning. “They were not only totally professional, but very cool.”

“I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe,” he added.

Trump said that the protesters are professionally organized but were kept away from the fence efficiently by the agents.

“Nobody came close to breaching the fence. If they had they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen,” he said.

His remarks came after protests caused a brief lockdown at the White House on Friday evening.

Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd
Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin kneels on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed man who was pleading that he could not breathe, in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020. (Darnella Frazier via AP)

Hundreds of people gathered outside the White House late Friday to protest the killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis.

Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while taking him into custody on Monday. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired on Monday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.

The death of Floyd caused a national uproar.

Protests exploded in dozens of cities around the nation on Friday night with occasional looting, burning, arson, and vandalizing.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters demonstrate outside a burning fast food restaurant in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 29, 2020. (John Minchillo/AP)

Outside the White House, protesters hurled pieces of bricks, bottles, and other objects at Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers who were in riot gear behind barricades. Protesters at times kicked and punched officers and wrestled over the barricades.

The crowd of hundreds chanted “No justice, no peace” and “Say his name: George Floyd.”

As some in the crowd grew more aggressive, police deployed pepper spray to keep them back and maintain a perimeter of officers around the White House. Other demonstrators came to the aid of protesters who were sprayed, their eyes red and puffy, offering bottles of milk and water to splash on their faces.

By the end of the night, the protesters had stolen about 15 barricades and the police had to form a line with riot shields to keep back the swelling crowd. At one point, the protesters were able to gain control of an officer’s shield and set it ablaze before trying to toss it back at the line of officers. Police used a smoke device to quickly stop them.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters confront a row of police officers outside the White House in Washington on early May 30, 2020, in a demonstration over the death of George Floyd. (Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images)

The protest went on for hours before police declared the gathering “unlawful” and ordered everyone to leave Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park located directly north of the White House. Dozens of officers pushed forward with their shields and fired off streams of pepper spray at protesters.

“Out of the park or you will be sprayed,” an officer shouted at the crowd.

The Associated Press contributed to the report.

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