WASHINGTON - Protesters 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 NW. Loud booms could be heard as police tried to use flash bang grenades to disperse the protesters. 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.
Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said Friday evening that 217 people were arrested as a result of the protests from Friday. The chief also said six of their police officers suffered minor injuries, with three of them suffering head injuries from flying objects.
There were reports of tear gas being used, but D.C. police tell FOX 5 they have only used pepper spray and crowd control devices in this situation so far.
VIDEO: 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.
A limousine and an SUV were set on fire on 13th and K Streets just before 4:30 p.m.
Earlier Friday, 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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