DC Police Foil Protesters' Bid to Topple Andrew Jackson Statue; Videos Show Violent Clashes

The police aggressively pushed the protesters back even as helicopters unleashed pepper spray on the people.

Protesters were canned by the Washington DC police outside the White House in Lafayette Park when they attempted to vandalize the statue of the 7th US President Andrew Jackson. Protesters yelling the slogan "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Andrew Jackson's got to go" got on top of the bronze equestrian statue with chains, while a few others were seen throwing ropes to pull the statue down.

The protesters sealed the area around Andrew Jackson's statue and called it "Black House Autonomous Zone (BHAZ)", which was also written on a placard.

Andrew Jackson
A protester seen getting atop Andrew Jackson's statue outside the White House in Lafeyette Park Reuters
Andrew Jackson
A protester holding a placard that reads 'Black House Autonomous Zone' at Lafeyette Park in USR Reuters

The DC police on the spot immediately started pushing the protesters away from the statue even as a few of the protesters assaulted the on-duty cops. The US Secret Service immediately asked the White House media to leave the area.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has warned the protesters stating, "10 years in prison under the Veteran's Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!" His tweet also read: "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."

The protesters, some of them carrying boards of BlackLivesMatter, were seen pulling barricades placed by the police. They also damaged trash bins and reportedly vandalized the wooden wheels of the statue before the cops started thrashing the mob. DC police are also said to have used pepper spray on the ground to neutralize the protesters.

However, when the situation seemingly slipped off their hands, DC police choppers started spraying pepper spray on the protesting people. The eye witness from the spot took to twitter and posted videos showing helicopters showering pepper spray flying low overhead. Manny protesters were given on the spot treatment, while many others were severely injured – the images of which are all over Twitter.

Earlier this month, policemen in foot and horseback had aggressively driven protesters away from Lafayette Park, owing to the arrival of Trump at the spot for a photo session near St. John's Episcopal Church. The enraged protesters later wrote 'BHAZ' on the pillars of the historical Church as an act of defiance.

Just before the cops moved to push back the agitating mob, they started clearing tents in the area that were almost beside the main street. The cops also are said to have thrashed and moved those who had installed their tents in the 'Black Lives Matter Plaza' to feed the protesters. The DC Police Chief Peter Newsham said: "They were creating a potential safety hazard. We can't have people setting up tents on public streets."

Protester injured
Medics help a severely injured protester out from the violence Reuters

Frederick Brown, 24, was quoted by the DailyMail as saying: "We put the tents in the street so that cars wouldn't be able to come through, so people could protest. They (police) came up here agitating because they want this street open." The cops are said to have informed the protesters over clearing the area. However, the warning was ignored and the scene outside the White House became bloody after the initial few hours, as the DC police did not restrain itself from going haywire in canning the mob.

Trump's tweet
Video of clashes outside the White House
A chopper of DC police spotted flying overhead at the protest spot, showering pepper spray on protesters
DC police apprehend a protester who attempted to vandalise Andrew Jackson's statue at Lafeyette Park Twitter