Protesters start fires near White House

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Demonstrators start a fire as they protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington. Floyd died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Latest on protests near White House (9:41 p.m.):

The entire Washington, D.C., National Guard — roughly 1,700 soldiers — is being called in to help with the response to protests outside the White House and elsewhere in the nation’s capital, according to two Defense Department officials.

Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday she had requested 500 Guardsman to assist local law enforcement. Later on Sunday, as the protests escalated, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy ordered the rest of the Guardsman — about 1,200 soldiers — to report.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

The D.C. National Guard did not reply to a request from The Associated Press for comment.

WASHINGTON — Protesters started fires near the White House as tensions with police mounted during a third straight night of demonstrations held in response to the death of George Floyd at police hands in Minnesota.

An hour before the 11 p.m. curfew, police fired a major barrage of tear gas stun grenades into the crowd of more than 1,000 people, largely clearing Lafayette Park across the street from the White House and scattering protesters into the street.

Protesters piled up road signs and plastic barriers and lit a raging fire in the middle of H Street. Some pulled an American flag from a nearby building and threw it into the blaze. Others added branches pulled from trees. A cinder block structure, on the north side of the park, that had bathrooms and a maintenance office, was engulfed in flames.

Several miles north, a separate protest broke out in Northwest D.C., near the Maryland border. The Metropolitan Police Department says there were break-ins at a Target and a shopping center that houses Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store, T.J. Maxx, a movie theater and specialty stores. Police say several individuals have been detained.

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