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Dozens of DC protesters took refuge in residents' homes to avoid police arrests

Arrests came as D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser said that the curfew for the District on Monday would be strictly enforced.

WASHINGTON — When curfew lifted at 6 a.m., dozens of protesters safely left a Logan Circle home where a homeowner provided refuge, helping them escape arrest after defying D.C.'s 7 p.m. curfew. This comes after the fourth day of demonstrations in D.C. over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Residents around 15th and Swann Streets let those dozens of protesters into their home Monday night.

People tell WUSA9's Matt Gregory and Ariane Datil that protesters were funneled by police into Swann Street off 15th Street. While residents let protesters into their houses, police were waiting for them to come out. Then, allegedly making arrests. 

Datil spoke with one man named "Meka" via phone who said that he is among roughly 40 protesters inside a home that could not move back into the streets due to police making arrests. They have been in the house since around 10 p.m. on Monday.

He told Datil that the protesters were spread through the three floors of the home. The people in the home kept them safe there until the curfew ended at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Video of the incident caught from a roof across the streets shows the tactics police used to pin the protesters into Swann Street to make dozens of arrests.

Meka told WUSA 9 that protesters there were hungry and scared. He believed also that police were in the backyard of one home where protesters were.

D.C. police tried to break through the backyard fence and then "tried convincing us that we could leave out the back alley freely," Meka told WUSA9.

The spokesperson for Phil Mendelson, Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia, told WUSA9 that his office would be reaching out to D.C. officials to learn more about what has taken place.

Some protesters in parts of the city watched as D.C. police made arrests late Monday evening, as crowds of demonstrators dispersed as police continue through the streets into Tuesday.

Law enforcement across the District started moving into parts of D.C. that have been occupied by protesters around 7 p.m. as part of the curfew implemented by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

"Justice for George Floyd" protests sparked after video surfaced showing George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer.

Protests erupted nationwide days after Floyd’s death calling for the arrests of all the officers involved after a Memorial Day viral video showed Floyd being pinned down by his neck by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd, who is repeatedly heard in the video saying he can't breath and asking for Chauvin to get off his neck, died that day.

The Minneapolis mayor on Tuesday fired all four officers involved in the incident. On Friday, Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd's death. But the other three officers who were involved in the incident have not yet been arrested or charged, with prosecutors in Minnesota on Friday saying that charges are likely forthcoming.

D.C. was among cities across the nation who held protests since Friday night, demanding the remaining three officers involved in Floyd's death to be arrested and charged.

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