Chaos erupted in Washington, D.C., on Saturday night, hours after two pro-Trump rallies ended. Groups of Proud Boys and Antifa activists clashed under cover of darkness, with police repeatedly forcing them apart amid reports of brawls and stabbings.
At least four stabbings occurred near a bar that served as a gathering spot for the Proud Boys, according to the Washington Post. The victims were hospitalized, possibly with life-threatening injuries, a D.C. Fire Department spokesman told the newspaper.
It wasn’t immediately clear which groups the attackers and victims were affiliated with, the report said.
As of 9 p.m. ET, 23 people had been arrested, including 10 charged with misdemeanor assault, six with assaulting a police officer and four will rioting, FOX 5 of Washington reported. One suspect was carrying an illegal stun gun.
BREAKING: DC Mayor’s office releases preliminary info on today’s protest activities: at least 23 arrests related to protests, including: 6 Assaults on a Police Officer, 10 simple assaults, 4 Riotous Acts. At least 8 taken to hospital inc 2 police officers
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) December 13, 2020
At least two D.C. police officers were hospitalized with moderate injuries, the report added.
Images and videos on social media showed demonstrators exchanging barrages of fireworks, and police intervening on several downtown streets.
— eric thomas (@justericthomas) December 13, 2020
“Moments after I took this video, fireworks exploded at the front entrance of the Hyatt Hotel,” Washington Post reporter Marissa Lang tweeted. “Proud Boys and anti-fascist [Antifa] protesters had been starting to brawl at the entrance.”
She also said police pepper-sprayed a group of protesters a few blocks away and later reported that at least two people had been stabbed, citing fire officials.
Several unverified videos on Twitter posted during the protests from the area appeared to show people bleeding being treated by police.
An online post by Washington’s WJLA-TV included video of one police officer being helped away by colleagues after being injured.
Police separated the groups, shut down traffic in parts of downtown D.C. and sealed off Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House.