US election 2020: Arrests as trouble flares in Washington

People across the United States have voted in one of the most polarising presidential elections in the country’s history – and the race is also playing out on social media.


The #Vote2020 and #ElectionDay hashtags are trending in most countries on Twitter, as the world closely follows the hard-fought matchup between Donald Trump and Joe Biden

But it’s not that simple…

Protesters have clashed with police in Washington DC as cities across the US prepared for potential unrest in the wake of the presidential election result.

Trouble flared on Black Lives Matter Plaza as police detained two men after hundreds of demonstrators had gathered close to the White House.

Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford, who is in Washington DC, said the atmosphere had turned “ugly” as protesters were “marauding” through the streets.

“At the moment they’re being allowed to march wherever they want,” Crawford said.

Some of the protesters were dressed in black with goggles on, and were using umbrellas to shield their identities, she added.

Much of the area had been boarded up ahead of potential election night unrest.

After the two men were detained, officers on bikes formed a barrier as protesters tried to force themselves through.

Chants of “f*** the police” and “no justice, no peace” broke out while demonstrators called on police to release the men.

Some protesters kicked police bicycles while others called for the crowd to not allow them to take away the two detainees.

Officers escorted the detained men out through the barrier of bikes. It was not clear why they were being held.

Earlier, protest group Shut Down DC said it had prepared for clashes with authorities should violence flare.

“Trump represents the worst in whiteness – and that’s racism,” one protester in Washington DC told Sky News.

“It’s important I show my son that we must vote against it and we show Trump that we’re all against it.”

Ahead of the election, a “non-scalable” fence was erected to secure the White House complex, with 250 National Guardsmen on standby, NBC News reported.

The memo from New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said there “is a strong likelihood that the winner of the presidential election may not be decided for several weeks”, according to NBC News.

Mr Trump had warned of “violence in the streets” as voters headed to the polls after criticising a Supreme Court decision to allow mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania to be counted up to three days after the election.

Writing on Twitter, he said it was “VERY dangerous”, adding: “It will allow rampant and unchecked cheating and will undermine our entire systems of laws. It will also induce violence in the streets. Something must be done!”

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