Trump inauguration: 2 policemen injured, 95 protesters arrested in Washington

Washington, Jan 21 (IANS) At least two police officers were injured and 95 protesters were arrested after they smashed windows, damaged cars and threw rocks at police near Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Friday in Washington, D.C.

Two DC police officers and one other person were taken to the hospital for undetermined injuries after run-ins with protesters, DC Fire Spokesman Vito Maggiolo told CNN. The injuries are non-life threatening.

At least 95 people were arrested, ABC news quoted the Metropolitan Police Department as saying.

The city’s interim police chief, Peter Newsham, said in a Periscope video posted on Twitter that the problems were caused by one group, “and it’s a very, very small percentage of the number of folks that came here to peacefully assemble in our city.”

Dramatic video published on social media, showed men and women using signs and sticks to shatter glass at a Starbucks and a bank. Chaos then swept the streets as police attempted to chase down the alleged vandals.

Police said in a statement that an organised group marched through the northwest part of the city at around 10.30 a.m. (local time), and that “members of the group acting in a concerted effort engaged in acts of vandalism and several instances of destruction of property.”

The police statement said the group damaged vehicles, destroyed the property of multiple businesses, and ignited smaller isolated fires” and that police vehicles were among those damaged.

Police said they responded using pepper spray and other control devices.

The #DisruptJ20 coalition, named after the date of the inauguration, which had promised that its participants would attempt to shut down the inauguration events, tangled with Bikers for Trump, a group clad in leather biker gear that backs the President.

Following the inauguration, protesters started a fire on the street, burning what appeared to be garbage and a plastic newspaper stand.

A Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, responded to the protests on Twitter, calling them “un-American”.

“Nothing is more unAmerican than protesters who are not peaceful. Disgusting,” she wrote.