An unidentified anti-Trump protester admitted Tuesday that he was trying to light himself on fire as a demonstration against President-elect Donald Trump.
Reporter Shomari Stone of NBC in Washington D.C. spoke to the man who was in police detention while they investigated a fire near the Trump International Hotel. When Stone asked the distraught man, "What happened, why'd you do that?" he answered, "Because we have a dictator who has been elected."
The interaction was caught in a video from the local NBC affiliate:
NEW VIDEO #BREAKING:
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) January 18, 2017
A crackle and pop is heard from the fire in the background, and the man turns to reassure police, "it's done, it's done, trust me, it's done." When asked again for the reason of the act of vandalism, he says, "I was trying to light myself on fire, as an act of protest. As an act of protest."
He continues, "Protesting the fact that we've elected somebody who is incapable of respecting the Constitution of the United States."
Witnesses described how he yelled "Trump" several times as "flames ran up his back" before lying down in the street.
He suffered non-life-threatening burns and was taken to hospital shortly after the incident at around 9.30pm.
A Washington DC Police source told DailyMail.com he was not arrested.
An eyewitness also posted photos of the attempted self-immolation on social media:
Fire dept puts out fire where man self immolation in front of Trump Hotel DC. He put fire out himself before walkin… https://t.co/1VPypYGgjx— Shoagosaurus (@Shoagosaurus) 1484707756.0
Man lit himself on fir in front of Trump hotel DC. Crazy! https://t.co/jfPGeoVhje— Shoagosaurus (@Shoagosaurus) 1484707575.0
The inaugural is quickly becoming the flashpoint and focus of anti-Trump protest, from the more than 50 congressional legislators who are boycotting the ceremony to the performers being driven away by death threats. A massive women's protest is being planned for the day afterward, and conservative Christians are calling one of Trump's inaugural preachers a heretic.