At least four people were stabbed in confrontations late Saturday at a rally supporting Donald Trump and protesting his loss in the presidential election in downtown Washington, D.C.
A man was also shot in Olympia in Washington state during similar confrontations between people protesting Trump’s loss and pandemic restrictions, and Black Lives Matter activists, NBC News reported. A suspect was in custody.
The stabbing victims in the nation’s capital were all hospitalized with critical injuries, according to D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department spokesperson Doug Buchanan, NBC reported.
Two police officers were also hospitalized with “moderate” injuries, according to The Washington Post, and an additional two participants suffered minor injuries, CNN reported.
The injuries occurred amid fights between the white nationalist Proud Boys and counterprotesters. The victims were stabbed near Harry’s Bar, a “gathering place” for the Proud Boys, the Post reported.
It wasn’t immediately clear which group was responsible for the stabbings.
The atmosphere was tense as soon as the protest began in the afternoon and quickly devolved into punching, kicking and wrestling confrontations.
Police Chief Peter Newsham told the Post that police units were mobilized to keep the groups apart. But smaller factions that splintered off from the main protest appeared to be “intent on conflict,” he said.
A group of Proud Boys was filmed stomping on a Black Lives Matter banner and chanting “USA, USA.”
The Proud Boys have taken a Black Lives Matter banner #DC#MarchForTrump#ProudBoys#Antifapic.twitter.com/aYoYfQWkkG
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) December 13, 2020
Twenty-three people were arrested. Ten people were arrested for simple assault, six for assault on police officers, four for riotous acts, two for crossing a police line, and one for possession of a prohibited weapon ― a Taser, CNN reported.
Trump cheered on the protesters in a tweet. “Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them! #MAGA.”
The president made three passes over the crowd in Marine One to urge them on.
Wow! Thousands of people forming in Washington (D.C.) for Stop the Steal. Didn’t know about this, but I’ll be seeing them! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
In a tweet after midnight Friday, after a lawsuit challenging Trump’s election loss was bounced by the Supreme Court, the president urged supporters to “fight on!”
During a presidential debate in September, Trump told the Proud Boys on national TV to “stand back and stand by.”
Pepper spray galore to break up a fight between Proud Boys and a few people wearing black bloc: pic.twitter.com/xgoaf2ur31
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) December 12, 2020
So much pepper spray pic.twitter.com/lnMENbJaTk
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) December 13, 2020
Also on HuffPost
Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
Source: Read Full Article