Dozens of Secret Service agents were reportedly injured by violent rioters near the White House as the rioters threw objects and burned American flags late on Sunday evening, which occurred after the Lincoln Memorial was vandalized hours earlier.
“More than 50 Secret Service agents were injured, fires set by rioters blazed near the White House and authorities were searching for car bombs late Sunday as protests over the death of George Floyd continued to roil the capital just two days after President Trump had to be taken to a bunker for his safety,” Fox News Editor Gregg Re reported. “A senior official in the direct chain of command for defending Washington D.C. told Fox News of the injuries to Secret Service agents, some of whom were hurt by rioters throwing bottles and Molotov cocktails in Lafayette Park, just across from the presidential residence.”
The violent outbreak came as riots continued to plague the U.S. late on Sunday after dozens of U.S. cities experienced looting, attacks on law enforcement officials, and destruction of property.
As captured on video, an American flag was also stolen off the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, which is near the White House, during the riot and was burned in the street.
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) June 1, 2020
Protesters just pulled the American flag off of St John Church parish house outside the WH and burned it pic.twitter.com/ZqRYGLItuZ
— Todd Zwillich (@toddzwillich) June 1, 2020
St. John’s Church was set on fire and authorities said that they believe that it was intentional.
“D.C. police said a small fire was deliberately set in the basement. Under police escort, D.C. firefighters quickly extinguished it,” The Washington Post reported. “Fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said the blaze did not appear to cause any significant damage.”
Fox News correspondent Kevin Corke first reported on the fire as he led his camera crew over the church to show viewers what was going on.
“Unfortunately, I can add just a moment it does appear that St. John’s Church is on fire, the Parish office,” Fox News’ Kevin Corke reported live on air. “We went downstairs, and it is on fire.”
“This is awful,” Corke continued. “We saw graffiti, once the door was broken, we saw something similar happen earlier and as you can see there’s definitely a fire here.”
The historic St. John’s church across from the White House has been set on fire: pic.twitter.com/mWgtdkwBq3
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) June 1, 2020
“The Episcopal church in Lafayette Square boasts on its website that every U.S. president since James Madison has attended services. Consecrated in 1816, the church also says the bell in its steeple, weighing almost 1,000 pounds, was cast in 1822 by Paul Revere’s son Joseph,” USA Today reported. “The parish hall was built in 1836.”
The Lincoln Memorial — erected to honor President Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president who ended slavery — was also vandalized hours earlier.
“In the wake of last night’s demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall,” The National Park Service said in a statement. “For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition.”
In the wake of last night's demonstrations, there are numerous instances of vandalism to sites around the National Mall. For generations the Mall has been our nation’s premier civic gathering space for non-violent demonstrations, and we ask individuals to carry on that tradition. pic.twitter.com/LmIHfW2AHj
— National Mall NPS (@NationalMallNPS) May 31, 2020
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