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Trump administration builds 9ft fence around White House amid George Floyd protests
5 June 2020, 08:49
High fencing has been put up around the White House as protests continue in the US over the death of George Floyd.
The black metal railings were seen being erected on Thursday, pushing the original perimeter of the famous building back.
A Secret Service source told Fox News the new wall is: “Standard anti-riot fencing and ranges from seven feet to more than nine feet high”.
The White House has been the focus of Black Lives Matter protests in Washington DC for over a week as people around the country gather to protest against police brutality.
While many protests have remained peaceful, violence has at points broken out with fires and looting.
The unrest reached fever point on Friday, and Trump was taken to a bunker underneath the White House. He later claimed the visit to the bunker was "an inspection".
The fencing is expected to remain in place until 10 June.
"These closures are in an effort to maintain the necessary security measures surrounding the White House complex, while also allowing for peaceful demonstration," a US Secret Service spokesperson said.
"The areas, including the entire Ellipse and its side panels, roadways and sidewalks, E Street and its sidewalks between 15th and 17ths Streets, First Division Monument and State Place, Sherman Park and Hamilton Place, Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th streets, and all of Lafayette Park, will remain closed until June 10,"
On Monday Donald Trump received international criticism after peaceful protesters were tear gassed and hit with rubber bullets so he could walk outside to have his photo taken at a church.
More fencing going up around the White House complex early this morning pic.twitter.com/VLBRnx1lgz— Betsy Klein (@betsy_klein) June 4, 2020
Trump also announced that he was invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy US soldiers on the streets.
But his own Defence Secretary Mark Esper refused to comply with Trump's wishes and said US military being dpoloyed should only be used as a "last resort".
He added: "We are not in one of those situations now."
Mr Floyd's death shocked the world after now infamous footage showed the unarmed 46-year-old's final moments as he laid face down on road in Minneapolis with a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on his neck.
Despite pleas from Mr Floyd that he couldn't breathe, Chauvin remained in place for more than eight minutes.
Mr Floyd never regained consciousness - and his death has since revived fierce debate about racial discrimination in the US judicial system, and has sparked protests against police brutality worldwide.