After mostly peaceful protests throughout the day, things took a destructive turn last night in Washington, D.C.
In the daylight hours, over 1,000 people marched peacefully to Lafayette Square, where they demanded justice while standing across from the White House. But — as has been true in other cities such as Chicago, New York and Los Angeles — the evening hours did not stay peaceful.
Nike, Lululemon and Club Monaco were among the shops broken into in the city’s historic Georgetown district, where looters continued to cause damage long after the 11 p.m. ET curfew went into effect. Meanwhile, in Tenleytown, about five miles from the White House, a Target was looted — with destruction too occurring in the Foggy Bottom and Shaw districts.
Near the White House, police vehicles were flipped and burned, with a Parks Service building and numerous CVS stores also going up in flames. Additionally, firefighters put out a fire set in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church, a historic church that has been standing since the early 1800s.
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National unrest has mounted following the death on Monday of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin. After arresting Floyd, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin has since been taken into police custody and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Floyd’s death has reignited a national conversation about police brutality and systemic racism — sparking protests in cities from coast to coast. While protests have been primarily of a peaceful nature, looting has occurred across the country from New York to Los Angeles, especially in the late night hours. In recent days, major brands and retailers have spoken up against the injustices faced by African Americans and called for change — including companies that typically take a stance on social issues as well as those that have historically shied away from doing so.