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Reports: White House press told to leave grounds as tensions rise over attempted removal of Andrew Jackson statue

Protesters clash with U.S. Park Police after protesters attempted to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House on June 22, in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/TNS)
June 23, 2020

Tensions were high in front of the White House Monday night after Black Lives Matter protesters worked to remove the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square.

Meanwhile, CNN reported that their staffers and other members of the White House press corps were asked to leave the White House grounds by Secret Service.

USA TODAY has reached out to the Secret Service for comment and additional information.

Protesters have continued to target historical symbols of the Confederacy across the country. Late last Friday, protesters in Washington, D.C., and in Raleigh, North Carolina, toppled statues. A statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was toppled in Richmond, Virginia earlier in June.

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The Andrew Jackson statue had not been taken down as of 10 p.m. EST., and police officers have responded to the area.

The protests over racial injustice were sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man whose neck was pinned under the knee of a white police officer for nearly nine minutes in May.

President Donald Trump tweeted that “numerous people” had been arrested “for the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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© 2020 USA Today