Multiple protesters arrested near White House; DC police shut down streets in area
WASHINGTON - D.C. police have arrested multiple protesters amid growing demonstrations around the White House on Election Night.
Police charged at least one suspect - who they only identified as an adult male - with disorderly conduct, crossing a police line and resisting arrest.
In addition, law enforcement has closed down streets in the area.
Thousands were expected to gather in the heart of the nation’s capital on Election Night – as America braces for a conclusion to one of the most contentious presidential races in recent memory.
After 6 p.m., police closed:
- 15th Street to 17th Street NW
- H Street to K Street NW
- 16th Street between K Street and L Street NW
- K Street between 17th Street and 15th Street NW
A summer of civil unrest prompted federal officials to build a “non-scalable” wall around the White House on the eve of Election Day, but Tuesday’s crowds were “mostly quiet” early in the evening.
At least one demonstration that had been approved for the Ellipse – a prayer vigil to reject political violence - was suspended due to U.S. Secret Service closures around the White House.
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Early crowds featured protesters – but also a smattering of President Donald Trump’s supporters.
The fencing surrounding the White House from Constitution Avenue to 17th, H and 15th streets is expected to be in place until Sunday.
The National Park Service says the Secret Service made the request to have the anti-scale walls in place for Election Day – citing a “need to quickly deescalate potentially violent encounters.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Pete Newsham say there have been no “official” threats to the city.
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Throughout the afternoon, tourists and locals marveled at the fencing around the iconic home of the president – with many stopping to take pictures.
“It looks kind of weird because I’ve never seen anything so boarded up and locked up,” said Saylor Too, a 9-year-old visiting the nation's capital from Alabama with her parents.
READ MORE: 'Non-scalable' fence up near White House, helicopters seen as DC prepares for possible election unrest
“It’s surreal. I’ve actually been in the White House once and when I came and it didn’t look like this at all,” said Sanjayan Muttulingam who cycled around the security perimeter.