Anti-Trump protests turn violent as Donald Trump takes office

Police moved in large groups to disperse mobs of demonstrators, and tear gas lingered in the air as the 45th president of the United States was sworn in.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A police officer falls to the ground as another shoots pepper spray after protesters clash with police in Washington DC, January, 20 2017.

Updated Jan 21, 2017

Violent protests erupted with police in riot gear squaring off with demonstrators, just a kilometre from where Donald Trump was being sworn in as president on Friday. At least 200 people have been arrested in Washington DC.

Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Lt. Sean Conboy said they were arrested for "vandalism and destruction of property."

Police used pepper spray in a chaotic confrontation with protesters who expressed their rage against the new president in Washington DC.

"I am going to be sending Trump postcards that tell him he's not my president. He represents racism, sexism and homophobia. That's not America," said 72-year-old protester, Jae Sullivan.

Protesters demonstrating against US President Donald Trump take cover after clashing with police on the sidelines of the inauguration in Washington, DC, US. January 20. (Reuters)

A group of black-clad activists protesting Trump's inauguration smashed store and car windows ahead of the inauguration. Many chanted and carried signs, attacking Trump and making other political statements, such as "not my president," "no Islamophobia" and "Black Lives Matter."

Another activist, who only identified himself as Vito said, "I think this is comical. They can't accept results of a democratic election."

Protesters run after being hit by a stun grenade after clashing with police during US President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration in Washington, US. January 20. (Reuters)

In another protest, not far from the White House, demonstrators also scuffled with police, at one point throwing aluminum chairs at them at an outdoor cafe.

They also vandalised several cars and hurled trash cans and newspaper vending boxes into the streets before being mostly dispersed by police about 90 minutes before Trump was sworn in at the Capitol a mile and a half (2.4 km) away.

"Pepper spray and other control devices were used to control the criminal actors and protect persons and property," the police department said in a statement.

Two police officers had sustained minor injuries from "coordinated attacks" and some police vehicles had been damaged.

TRT World's Harry Horton reports from Washington.

TRTWorld and agencies