U.S. congressional Democratic leadership Thursday condemned the escalation of protests outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington while praising police handling of the situation.
Protesters clashed with police outside the headquarters Wednesday night, as they rallied for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
House of Representatives Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committe Chair Suzan DelBene, all signed on to the Thursday statement following the event.
“We are thankful for the service and professionalism of the U.S. Capitol Police officers who worked to ensure that Members, staff and visitors were able to safely exit. We strongly support the First Amendment right to freedom of expression and encourage anyone exercising that right to do so peacefully,” the Democratic leaders said in the statement.
Democrats, including Jeffries, were in the building at the time of protests, which were originally intended to block exits so politicians would be forced to see a candlelight vigil in support of a cease-fire.
Police say the protests quickly turned violent, which led to six police officers needing treatment for minor injuries and one arrest.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.