Police arrest more than 200 people as inauguration protests turn into violent riots

Police arrest more than 200 people as inauguration protests turn into violent riots
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Police arrested 217 people in Washington D.C., on Friday after Inauguration Day protests turned into a full-scale riot.

The anti-President Donald Trump protests began largely peaceful Friday morning, but after Trump’s noon swearing in, the protests became increasingly violent before they descended into a riot.

Rioters set fire to newsstands and trash cans in the middle of some D.C. streets, while others lit car fires, smashed business windows and injured police officers.

Police used pepper stray and flash-bang grenades in an attempt to control the riot and protect citizens and businesses. During the riot, at least six police officers were injured with non-life threatening injuries, according to CNN.

Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters at a press conference late Friday that while the majority of the protests were peaceful, there was an “organized” group of several hundred people whose sole intentions on Friday were to reek havoc on the city. According to the Washington Examiner, Newsham said those rioters came “armed” to protests with crowbars and hammers.

“We are very certain those persons involved in the criminal acts earlier today came to our city with the intent,” Newsham said, according to the Examiner. He added that he believes the majority of rioters were not from D.C.

Newsham said all 217 arrested protesters were charged with rioting.

Another large-scale protest is slated for Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to march through the streets of Washington Saturday afternoon for the Women’s March on Washington.

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