“We are sending a very clear message to people that they have the right to exercise their First Amendment rights, but not to destroy our city,” Bowser said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We see a level of devastation and turmoil in some who are angry.”
The DC Fire Department killed two vehicle fires in the area north of the White House Saturday night, as well as several small fires in the town area. Some protesters also place graffiti on some buildings.
DC Chief of Police Peter Newsham said Sunday that the Metropolitan Police Department arrested 17 people on Saturday night and that 11 MPD officers were injured in the protest. None of the officers sustained life-threatening injuries, though an officer underwent surgery for multiple fracture compounds in his leg after a protester threw a rock at him.
Newsham said of the 17 arrested, eight are either living in DC or have some links to the area.
He said police are hoping to make more arrests, as the department is asking private businesses to review their security footage, and will ask the DC community to identify property damage or hurt property tao.
More than 60 US Secret Service personnel were injured from Friday night to Sunday morning near the White House, according to a statement from the Secret Service.
Bowser urged President Donald Trump to help “calm the country” and stop sending “divisive tweets intended to restore the segregationist past of our country.”
The DC mayor said while Trump “hid behind his scared / lonely fence,” he stood by people who “peacefully carried out their First Amendment Right after Floyd’s murder” and “hundreds of years” of institutional racism. “
Trump also tweeted that protesters were “greeted by the worst dogs, and most unknown weapons, I’ve seen,” if they violated the fence outside the White House.
At a press conference on Saturday, Bowser noted how Trump’s reference to “harmless dogs” was “a subtle reminder” of segregationists attacking African Americans on dogs.
Bowser said Sunday that the city is working on cleaning up after protests and is in contact with law enforcement “to ensure the peace of our city.”
Skirmishes between groups of protesters and law enforcement flew Saturday night near Trump’s residence for the second consecutive night as tensions played out in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis who was killed by police.
Some protesters continued to gather in the town of Washington, DC, in Lafayette Square, opposite the White House, until Saturday night, but additional protesters were not allowed by police.
At times there were attempts by some protesters to enter the park. They are met with pepper spray or other mechanisms that push them back.
Separately, a group marched and then rallied at the Lincoln Memorial. At one point viewers reported using pepper spray. The area around the memory is then cleared.
The purpose of law enforcement is to build a large gap between protesters and the White House. Authorities want to prevent a large number of protesters from gathering obstacles that have been permanently set up in front of the White House.
Newsham called the behavior of the police “incredible, hero, in many cases,” and said he did not expect Sunday night to be “a repeat of last night.”
However, a law enforcement source tells CNN that the US Park Police, in a situational report Sunday afternoon, informed law enforcement in Lafayette Park that demonstrators had carried boxes of stone in a night protest throughout the White House.
Another person was observed with a bat, the report said. The information was shared with other law enforcement agencies for the protest, the source said.
Earlier Sunday, White House executive office staff members received an email urging them to stay away from the White House complex, if possible, because of “ongoing demonstrations.”
“Due to ongoing demonstrations, please avoid going to the White House Complex today if at all possible,” the email reads, in part. “The White House currently maintains an elevated security posture.”
The email directs “essential” employees, who still need to work in the complex, to a specific entrance and follow the Secret Service instructions.
This story has been updated with further developments.
CNN’s Rebecca Grandahl, Kaitlan Collins, Chris Turner, Alex Marquardt and Greg Clary contributed to this report.