BREAKING: Protests turn violent near inauguration parade in DC
WASHINGTON - Protestors clashed with police in downtown DC on Friday afternoon, just a couple of hours after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. A chaotic scene erupted around 2 pm near K and 12th Streets NW, just blocks from where the inaugural parade was set to begin.
Trash cans, recycling containers, newspaper stands and other materials were set on fire near K and 13th Street. Loud booms could be heard as police tried to use flash bang grenades to disperse the protestors. FOX 5 DC reporter Alexandra Limon was live on Facebook as the situation really got heated. Limon reported protesters were throwing rocks at police before the situation intensified.
Authorities say a member of law enforcement was struck in the head by cement thrown by a protester. The officer was conscious and walked to the ambulance on his own, and was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.
DC police said at least four other officers were hurt, two of whom were struck by protesters. Another officer fell off a bicycle, and the fourth fell ill after pepper spray was deployed.
There were reports of teargas being used, but DC police tell FOX 5 they have only used pepper spray and crowd control devices in this situation so far.
LIVE COVERAGE: PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT ON DC STREETS
Meanwhile, a few streets away, participants were lined up to take part in the inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Earlier Thursday, protesters smashed windows at businesses downtown, including a Starbucks and a Bank of America on I Street NW. .
"Pepper spray and other control devices were used to control the criminal actors and protect persons and property," DC police said. "During the incident, police vehicles were damaged and two uniformed officers sustained minor injuries from coordinated attacks by members of the group that were attempting to avoid arrest."
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted about the violence Friday afternoon, saying while the city welcomes visitors "we cannot allow you to destroy our neighborhoods." She added, I respect the rights of protesters but will not condone crime and vandalism which are the antithesis of what we hope to accomplish today."
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