Hundreds of people gathered near the White House for election night demonstrations, with at least one scuffle breaking out even as many states still had hours left before their polls closed.
Crowds descended on Washington, DC’s Black Lives Matter Plaza, just a block from the executive mansion, beginning in the early afternoon Tuesday, according to local outlet WRC-TV.
Around 5:15 p.m., a tussle broke out between protesters and police officers and at least one person was detained, the NBC affiliate reported.
Police Chief Peter Newsham reminded demonstrators they had a right to gather — but asked them to do so peacefully.
“We invite anybody that wants to come down here [to] exercise their First Amendment right,” Newsham said. “We welcome them to come enjoy themselves and we just ask them not to be involved in any violent behavior.”
All DC cops will be on duty and on the streets in the coming days as the capital braces for possible riots and civil unrest around the presidential election — with crews even putting up a “non-scalable” fence around the White House on Monday night.
Several businesses have also boarded up their windows and storefronts in anticipation of possible looting.
At least six groups have requested permits for protests in DC in the next few days, local officials have said.
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