It was around 6.35pm that the tear gas was fired. Hundreds of protesters had gathered by the park just north of the White House under the clear blue sky.
Moments earlier some in the crowds had been urging the policemen in riot helmets and shields to “take a knee”, a sign of support for their cause, and chanting “no justice, no peace”.
Then, suddenly, the officers push forward. Huge bangs startled the crowds and sent many sprinting away from the front line. Plumes of tear gas forced others back.
The officers by foot strode forward while around a dozen followed on horseback. There were screams when each explosion rang out. Some chanted “hands up, don’t shoot”.
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