Protests at DC Police Station Raise Concerns About Impact on Neighborhood

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Protests over the death of a man pursued by police while riding an electric scooter have left their mark on the neighborhood around the 4th District police station.

The physical damage is easy to see, but the clashes between protesters and police following the death of 20-year-old Karon Hylton-Brown, who died after a crash while police were pursuing him, is taking a mental and emotional toll as well.

About 100 protesters gathered Thursday night at one point with about a dozen police officers monitoring them. There were some tense moments, but it was calm outside the station in Northwest compared to the at times chaotic protests Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday night, officers dressed in protective gear clashed with protesters and used flashbangs to move them back from the station as some in the crowd shot fireworks at the officers.

It was the second consecutive night of volatile protests. Damage was done to stores in the neighborhood.

Now plywood covers a McDonald’s and a Walmart as a precaution to protect the businesses. A Walgreens is boarded up after a door was shattered.

“To see the neighborhood boarded up, doesn’t really feel good,” Brightwood resident Anthony Larkins said.

Larkins’ family says seeing businesses boarded up is upsetting.

“It just looks like it’s more run down, and the community is going down when things are boarded up," Larkins said.

“It makes it really concerning,” Larkins said. "I moved in over here from Southeast, probably, approximately two years ago, anticipating the neighborhood getting better and things getting better, and then there’s this contention going on with the police and the Black community."

“I’m quite disappointed because I come up here very often and I’ve never seen it boarded up like this, and to have it close this early, it’s very disappointing,” Walmart customer Anita Hawkins said.

“A lot of these businesses support the Black community, so it’s really frustrating,” Larkins said.

 But he is optimistic the neighborhood will eventually return to normal.

“I think we’ll come back strong no matter what,” he said.

Protesters want the four officers in the SUV that followed Hylton-Brown fired and charged for allegedly causing the fatal crash. The officers are on leave.

Protesters said they plan to continue returning to the police station at least until Election Day.

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