WASHINGTON – Protesters wreaked havoc across Washington on Inauguration Day, shattering glass storefronts and torching cars. Fortunately, they never posed a serious security threat to President Trump’s official inaugural ceremonies. We have thousands of peace officers to thank for that.
Authorities said 217 people were arrested Friday in the protests and demonstrations, which started before dawn and at one point turned into a full-scale riot, reported Fox News.
A group called DistruptJ20 was responsible for a majority of the damage. They vowed to “paralyze” the city. Auspiciously, the were unsuccessful. Yet they caused enough carnage to make all decent minded people root for the police.
Black-clad protestors with their faces covered shattered the class-front windows of a bank, McDonald’s, and Starbucks. They smashed the windows of a limousine before setting it on fire. Police corralled the raucous anarchists with various less-lethal options. Cops fired pepper spray and used distraction devices to disrupt the criminal behavior as they moved from midtown to the Inaugural Parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue. The riot control devices proved effective moving the destructive crowd.
Here is one protesters that was frustrated with the destruction that occurred:
Another protester is screaming at the crew smashing a limo. Lots of ppl here frustrated by actions of few: pic.twitter.com/CgSzqHZ3Lm
— Greg Krieg (@GregJKrieg) January 20, 2017
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said the destruction started at about 10:30 a.m. and that those arrested were charged with rioting.
He also said that six police officers were injured in clashes with protesters, including three with head injuries. One civilian also was injured, and none of the injuries were life threatening.
“Going into today, the goal was to ensure everyone wishing to peacefully exercise their rights had ability do so,” said Newsham, who also thanked the federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies from across the country that came to help. ”Unfortunately, a small group of people have engaged in vandalism and violence against officers. This will not be tolerated.”
The disruptions started early, according to Fox. Shortly after daybreak, protesters started blocking about ten security checkpoints to the parade and other official events.
Yet Trump’s swearing-in on Capitol Hill and the parade to the White House occurred with no reported problems.
Black Lives Matter
Just after dawn, some members from Black Lives Matter forced the Secret Service to close one checkpoint. Their form of protest was blocking gates by chaining themselves to fences.
A couple from Kansas told FoxNews.com that demonstrators attacked them at the checkpoint.
Celeste Sollars, who said she and her husband came to town from Kansas to see the inauguration, said they were spit on and her husband was put in a chokehold by protesters. She was crying as she told her story, and had the impression that the police wouldn’t intervene. She added, “Assault is not a First Amendment right.”
Demonstrators followed through on threats to disrupt the Trump’s inaugural ceremonies.
“We are here to let people know this presidency is not legit. It goes against hundreds of years of democracy—black lives matter,” BLM DC’s Tracye Redd told FoxNews.com.
Bikers for Trump
As reported, there were also law and order advocates present to support the police. Among the first to arrive Friday morning was Bill McCann, who planned to join up with Bikers for Trump. He made the journey on his bike from Fort Worth, Texas. McCann spoke under the light of the Capitol Rotunda amid a heavy police presence.
“Ever since Mr. Trump announced his candidacy, I’ve supported him 100 percent,” said McCann.
Jewish Voice for Peace
Nearby, protesters with the anti-war group Jewish Voice for Peace rallied.
“We’re here to say that whoever is president, ‘No more war,’ ” said Naomi Dann, of Brooklyn. “The incoming president hasn’t said whether he’s a pacifist, but I’m pretty sure he’s not.”
Dann said her concerns and those of other group members include “targeting Muslims” and increased surveillance.
— Greg Krieg (@GregJKrieg) January 21, 2017
Gratitude for Police
Finally, on behalf of civilized people around the country, Law Enforcement Today extends their gratitude to the men and women in uniform that kept a lid on the “boiling water” in Washington. Thank you for your professionalism in the “kitchen of adversity!”
(Feature image is file photo)