Clashes break out near White House between police, protesters as unrest extends into weekend

Clashes broke out Saturday near the White House between police and those protesting the death of George Floyd in police custody -- as tensions flared for yet another night in confrontations and unrest across the country.

Protesters clashed with police and Secret Service members in full riot gear, who were attempting to push them back from Lafayette Park after they refused to move back. Local outlets reported the use of pepper spray, while video showed protesters getting in the faces of law enforcement and throwing bottles and water at them.

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Protesters chanted slogans including “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace.” Some also stood on cars.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., tweeted that she joined a protest near the White House, posting video alongside the message: "People are in pain. We must listen."

The clashes come a day after the White House was briefly locked down amid the protests over the death of Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis -- part of protests, as well as at-times violent riots across the country. The protests had been sparked by video that showed a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes before he died, seen by protesters as the latest incident of police brutality against black men.

Demonstrators vent to police in riot gear as they protest the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Demonstrators vent to police in riot gear as they protest the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Secret Service later issued a statement saying that six arrests were made and that multiple agents were assaulted with bricks, rocks, bottles, fireworks and other items -- injuring a number of uniformed division officers and special agents."

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"The Secret Service respects the right to assemble, and we ask that individuals do so peacefully for the safety of all," the statement said.

Later Saturday, Acting Homeland Security Chad Wolf said that Secret Service  were “assaulted by criminals.”

“They threw rocks, they threw urine and they threw alcohol at our officers and in several instances, our officers incurred injuries to include broken bones,” he said. “These protesters committed these acts of violence while hiding behind their First Amendment right of lawful protest.”

President Trump praised the Secret Service’s actions in a lengthy thread on Twitter.

“They were not only totally professional, but very cool. I was inside, watched every move, and couldn’t have felt more safe,” he said.

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On Saturday, local authorities took a series of measures to stop the violence that had been seen the previous night. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the state’s National Guard in response to violence that had plagued Minneapolis.

Elsewhere, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Philadelphia imposed partial or total curfews for Saturday night and Sunday morning as part of efforts to pre-empt potential violence.

Fox News’ Leland Vittert and Kristina Biddle contributed to this report.