Washington: US President Donald Trump was briefly moved to the White House bunker on the evening of May 29 as protests were being held near the White House against the death of an African-American man in police custody, a media report said Monday.
A senior administration official said the action was taken out of an abundance of caution, CBS News confirmed.
On Sunday, the Justice Department deployed US Marshals and Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Lafayette Park outside the White House to assist the National Guard, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed to CBS News.
The US capital was rocked by protests throughout the weekend that continued Sunday night. Fires were started and buildings vandalized in the vicinity of the White House. Obscene messages were spray-painted on Blair House e the President’s guest house.
Monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial, were defaced. Small fires were sets on streets e as well as in the AFL-CIO headquarters lobby and the basement of the historic St. John’s Church.
The church, just a few steps away, was built in 1815, across Lafayette Park from the White House; every president since James Madison has attended services there, said the CBS News report.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser put a curfew in place Sunday to try to restore calm. Usually, there are lights illuminating the White House at night. On Sunday, just before the 11 p.m. curfew, as the protests continued, those White House lights were turned off.
Nationwide protests have erupted since Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old man, died in Minneapolis on May 22 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe”, and “please, I can’t breathe”.
Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.