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White House on lockdown as George Floyd protests reach nation’s capital

A United States Secret Service agent stands guard at the White House (Matt Popovich/Flickr)
May 29, 2020

The White House is on temporary lockdown on Friday evening as protests erupting nationwide reached the nation’s capital over the death of Minnesota man George Floyd in police custody.

Multiple reporters took to social media to say that they were inside the White House and locked down, prevented by the U.S. Secret Service from leaving.

NBC News’ Peter Alexander tweeted, “The White House is under lockdown orders from the U.S. Secret Service due to protests outside the gates over George Floyd. A dozen reporters, myself included, still inside the West Wing.”

Video posted to social media showed unrest growing outside the White House.

Some protesters were seen pushing over barricades.

Some individuals were seen taken into police custody.

The Secret Service tweeted on Friday night that their “personnel are currently assisting other law enforcement agencies during a demonstration in Lafayette Park. In the interest of public safety we encourage all to remain peaceful.”

Protests have erupted in cities across the country, including New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, cities in California, and more.

Floyd was killed on Monday while in police custody on suspicions he passed off a counterfeit $20 bill. Videos showed an officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, holding Floyd to the ground with a knee against the back of his neck, closing his airway.

Chauvin was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers involved in the arrest were fired earlier this week.

Protests have mounted in response to Floyd’s death, and in Minneapolis, the demonstrations have escalated to more violent acts of setting buildings on fire and looting businesses.

The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations have launched investigations into the incident, and are prioritizing their investigations at the urging of President Donald Trump.