Five police officers were hurt as they responded to a protest in D.C.’s Black Lives Matter Plaza late Saturday and into Sunday, police say.
Information on the extent of the officers’ injuries was not immediately released. The officers were hit with rocks, bricks and fireworks, the Metropolitan Police Department said Sunday morning.
At least five protesters — three men and two women — were arrested, including on charges of assault on an officer and felony rioting.
Some members of the groups were “intent on damaging property and injuring Metropolitan Police Department officers,” the department said in a statement.
“These individuals ignited fireworks, intentionally set fires, as well as threw projectiles — including glass, bricks and smoke grenades, at officers in the area. Additionally, lasers were used to visually impair officers,” the department said.
One suspect is accused of intentionally rolling over an officer’s foot with a motorized scooter. Another person allegedly shot fireworks in officers’ direction.
The police department said they deployed tear gas and sting balls, which can set off a flash and smoke, and release rubber pellets.
Protesters received minor injuries, a police commander said.
In a tweet early Sunday, President Donald Trump said Mayor Muriel Bowser “should arrest these agitators and thugs.”
“Clean up D.C. or the Federal Government will do it for you. Enough!!!” he wrote.
The police department and mayor said they would protect the rights of people exercising their First Amendment rights but criminals will be held accountable.
Photos show what appears to be a chemical irritant in the air over the downtown D.C. plaza located just north of the White House.
The protests follow the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin and The Commitment March.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.