Police use pepper spray against protesters near White House

Police use pepper spray against protesters near White House

The protests near the White House on Sunday turned to riots, with demonstrators throwing plastic bottles at the police officers, and they in return fire at the protestors with so-called "pepper balls" with tear substance, TASS correspondent reports from the scene of the protests on Monday.

Earlier, protesters marched in the city center, chanting, among other slogans, the name of George Floyd, an African American man, who died as a result of detention by the Minneapolis (Minnesota) police last week. Protesters called for an end to police brutality against African Americans and the rejection of racial prejudice.

Earlier, the mayor of Washington D.C. Muriel Bowser imposed a curfew from 23:00 Sunday (06:00 Moscow time Monday) to 06:00 Monday (13:00 Moscow time) due to the unrest caused by the situation surrounding Floyd's death. The National Guard has also been called in to ensure safety.

Mass protests and broke out in Minnesota and several other U.S. states after a video of Floyd’s May 25 detention was posted online. Floyd, suspected of paying with counterfeit money at a local shop, was handcuffed by a white police officer, who put him to the ground and pressed his knee firmly against his neck. Floyd pleaded that he cannot breathe, but the police ignored him. Floyd died at the local hospital, shortly after the incident. The four arresting police officers were fired on May 26. One of them - Derek Chauvin, the officer who had his knee on Floyd - was arrested on Friday afternoon and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Protests in several major U.S. cities by Saturday evening turned into riots and looting. Federal and local authorities are urgently trying to pacify the demonstrators, imposing curfews, and involving the U.S. National Guard to help the police. According to the Associated Press, nearly 1,700 people have been detained during the protests over the past three days.