White House 'locked down' as George Floyd protesters descend

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter

The US Secret Service placed the White House under lockdown after George Floyd protesters closed in on the Washington DC structure.

Crowds of protesters were captured on video swarming a building near the White House on Friday (local time) chanting and holding up signs.

One protestor climbed up the gates and wrote “f*** Trump” in black paint as people cheered him on.

Streets were shut down to traffic as the massive gathering descended on the White House, where President Donald Trump had earlier addressed media.

Protesters surround a man who is seen spray-painting a wall in front of the White House.
Protesters chanted as one man spray-painted a wall in front of the White House. Source: Twitter/finnygo

NBC correspondent Peter Alexander took to Twitter to report the lockdown.

“The White House is under lockdown orders from the US Secret Service due to protests outside the gates over George Floyd. A dozen reporters, myself included, still inside the West Wing,” he wrote.

Earlier on Friday morning (local time), a CNN reporter and his crew were arrested live on air for allegedly not moving when asked by police.

The team was there to cover protests after four police officers involved in the arrest of George Floyd, who died in custody, were not penalised by the law.

Protesters gathered outside the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd.
Protesters gathered outside the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd. Source: AAP

One of the police officers, Derek Chauvin who knelt on George Floyd’s neck, was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Outrage spreads across the nation

Protests over the death of Mr Floyd have spread across the nation, with 'I can't breathe' becoming a rallying cry.

He uttered the words while handcuffed and pinned at the neck under the knee of the white Minneapolis police officer.

US Secret Service detained a protester as people gathered outside the White House on Friday. Source: AAP
US Secret Service detained a protester as people gathered outside the White House on Friday. Source: AAP
An undated handout photo of George Floyd. Source: Christopher Harris via AP
An undated handout photo of George Floyd. Source: Christopher Harris via AP

The protests that began with chanting and marching in Minneapolis the day after the disturbing video emerged showed Mr Floyd pinned for eight minutes have grown to mass demonstrations, some violent, in at least twelve states.

More than 100 protesters shut down part of a highway in San Jose on Friday, blocking traffic as they marched towards the city area, US news outlet ABC7 reported.

When they arrived in the city and began turning back to march towards the highway once again, a confrontation with police turned violent, and saw officers fire tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

Protesters set a shop on fire on Thursday (local time) during the third day of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Source: Jordan Strowder/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Protesters set a shop on fire on Thursday (local time) during the third day of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Source: Jordan Strowder/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Outrage across the nation was further inflamed when President Donald Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

The Senate Judiciary committee announced on Friday it would hold a hearing on police use of force.

Mr Floyd's death came after Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death in Georgia by a former district attorney investigator and his son, who were not arrested until after video emerged months later.

With Associated Press

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