Trump said he was taking “swift and decisive action to protect our great capital, Washington, D.C.”
“What happened last night was a total disgrace,” the president said. "As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults and the wanton destruction of property. We are putting everybody on warning, our 7 o’clock curfew will be strictly enforced.”
It was the fourth day of protests and unrest in the District, which had seen peaceful demonstrations devolve into looting and vandalism in previous nights.
Here’s what you need to know:
• With 20 minutes left until the District’s 7 p.m. curfew, authorities set off a series of explosions in the middle of a crowd in Lafayette Square, some landing right at protesters’ feet, before forcing demonstrators from the park. President Trump later walked across the area to visit historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was damaged in a fire set Sunday.
• Bowser strongly criticized the move by federal authorities to forcefully clear the area around Lafayette Square, saying the actions will make the job of D.C. police officers more difficult.
• After curfew, police began sealing off street after street to surround and arrest protesters in the downtown areas. Groups of protesters continued — including beyond downtown — despite the curfew and heavy law enforcement presence.