WASHINGTON D.C. - Announcing on his Twitter account, United States President Donald Trump posted that a number of people were arrested in the area after an attempt to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square Park, and another attempt to the nearby St. John's Episcopal Church.
The US President tweeted that the arrest in D.C. includes numerous people for displaying disgraceful vandalism at the statue of Andrew Jackson aside from defacing the exterior of St. John's Church just across the street.
Trump also added on his tweet a warning to the people who will be caught with this violation will face 10 years of imprisonment under the Veteran's Memorial Prevention Act.
Numerous people arrested in D.C. 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. 10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2020
Secretary of the Interior Department, David L. Bernhardt witnessed the destruction himself after visiting the Lafayette Square but he emphasized that the government will not bow to anarchists as Law and order will prevail, for justice will be served.
Moreover, it is not clear yet as to what the full extent of the damage is, but before defacing the statue of Jackson, on earlier protests, the WWII Memorial and Lincoln Memorial had been defaced as well and according to the reports "killer scum" was written on those pedestals while ropes were also tied to topple down the statue but law enforcement officers ensured that this incident will not happen again, Fox news reported.
According to the report of Reuters, after dusk, protesters began to broke down a fence that protects the statue however the statement also includes the destruction of cannons that surround the statue.
Based on the social media posts of the journalists covering the area, protesters already set up a camp which is similar to the ones in Seattle's CHOP.
On the other hand, stations reported that the city police alongside US Park police managed to lock down the area and swung their batons as an effort to keep off protesters in the area.
As of 10:30 p.m. local time, NBC Washington reported that protesters were standing at the park's border.
Based on the police report, during the confrontation between protesters and authorities, some protesters threw unidentified objects at the officers resulting in the injury, while two people were caught and arrested due to the incident.
According to ABC News, in order to disperse the crowd, police officers used a chemical irritant but protesters answered with objects thrown towards the direction of the police.
According to the Fox News, not only protesters were asked to leave but also reporters who are covering the area were forced to leave the grounds of the White House by the U.S. Secret Service.
Secret Service spokesperson shared that four members of the media were misdirected by the Secret Service to leave the grounds of the White House.
The spokesperson clarified that the members of the press were relocated to the south side of the complex as part of the safety protocols applied by the Secret Service.
Just earlier this month, US President Trump clashed with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser about the deployment of the federal forces in order to protect government assets of the city during the wake of George Floyd's death.