WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - D.C. Council plans to investigate the mass arrest of protesters violating curfew on Swann Street NW Monday.
FOX 5 was live there starting at 10 p.m. as nearly 200 people were taken into custody.
On Wednesday, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said officers started monitoring that group of protesters because they were worried after the prior two nights of chaos in the city around the same time.
Some criticized police for not doing enough to stop people from vandalizing businesses and starting fires.
Newsham said officers were concerned about some behavior of protesters Monday.
“There was several radio transmissions by officers on the scene that the group was kicking in doors and there was at least one call for service from a citizen who was relaying the same information to police,” Newsham said.
Newsham said his officers used pepper spray which is now being investigated internally. He said he has no evidence that protesters were beaten, as some have claimed
Video shows police moving in tandem down the street toward protesters at 9:30 p.m. telling them repeatedly to stand back.
”They kind of boxed us in on all corners, ally ways, main streets, side streets,” said Taylor Innis. “They were just at every exit.”
At around 9:45 p.m., officers started making arrests.
“I feel like I was really just trapped,” said Paul Wallace, who was also there.
Across the street, FOX 5 heard people pleading with police to let the group go.
”Some people were climbing over people’s backyard fences, some people were trying to literally climb over peoples’ houses to get away,” said Innis.
She and Wallace were part of the crowd welcomed inside by several homeowners’ on the block. A few dozen people emerged in the morning and were able to avoid arrest
What was unclear is why police enforced the curfew for the Swann St. group, but not for others who are also in violation just across the street that night.
FOX 5 crews did not see anyone arrested for violating curfew Tuesday and police said there were no arrests as of 10:00 PM Wednesday.
D.C. Police will also investigate what happened. Investigators were talking to homeowners Wednesday evening.
DC Councilman Charles Allen says those at Swann St. on Monday night can share their experiences by emailing: Judiciary@DCCouncil.us