WASHINGTON – The protests over George Floyd’s death hit the nation’s capital Friday night, leading to a lockdown at the White House, spokesman Judd Deere confirmed to USA TODAY.
Floyd, a black man, died in Minneapolis police custody this week after a white officer pinned him to the ground under his knee. His death has sparked demonstrations against police brutality and racial discrimination in cities across the United States.
Fired officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with murder in Floyd’s death.
Outside the White House on Friday, Secret Service could be seen taking at least one person into custody.
People have managed to toss over the temporary barricades, they’re being pushed back by the Secret Service. More police arriving. Heating up fast outside the White House’s north lawn. pic.twitter.com/jaXKmjV0R9— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) May 29, 2020
Multiple White House reporters have posted that they are still inside the building.
The Secret Service frequently locks down the White House for perceived security threats, such as packages or bags left nearby. But the building is rarely locked down for protests. And while protests are a daily occurrence outside the White House, they are often small – drawing a few dozen people, at most.
While the largest protests have enveloped Minneapolis, prompting the deployment of 500 National Guardsmen, people have taken to the streets from New York to Chicago to the California coast. Seven people were shot during a protest in Louisville on Thursday night, dozens were arrested in New York City, officers fired rubber bullets into a crowd of protesters in Phoenix and a driver appeared to intentionally run over a protester in Denver.