Black Lives Matter protesters block streets near Union Station
WASHINGTON - Black Lives Matter and BYP 100 protesters blocked pedestrian and vehicle traffic Wednesday during a demonstration near D.C.'s Union Station. The protest ended after 15 hours.
The protesters started lining up at Massachusetts Avenue in front of the offices of Fraternal Order of Police's D.C. office at around 7 a.m. Wednesday. Police responded as the group formed human chains that stretched across 3rd and 4th Streets.
FOX 5's Bob Barnard spoke with some of the protesters who said the groups were demonstrating against police brutality. Protesters said that they would remain in place for 28 hours -- a symbolic number they say represents the number of hours Michael Brown lay on the street in Ferguson, Missouri.
"No longer will we allow the bodies of black people to lay on the ground or for police officers to call union representatives before calling medical assistance for black people they have just murdered," said one protester.
"FOP, we see you," said another protester. "FOP, we make you visible. You have been allowed to function in the shadows and in the hallways of darkness for far too long. You have been allowed to cover up the accountability process for murderous cops for far too long. You have been allowed to pass violent legislation onto black and brown communities for far too long. Today, we shine a light on your policies."
D.C. Police and U.S. Capitol Police on the scene were directing traffic around the protesters. However, the protest fell short of 28 hours and ended at around 10:45 p.m., with Massachusetts Avenue reopening to traffic.
Despite protesters being physically chained to a fence that sits on private property as well as impeding the flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, sources told FOX 5 that officers on scene called the police chief asking for permission to make arrests, but she gave orders for officers to stand down and not make any arrests.
Several businesses nearby the FOP offices were affected by the traffic not being allowed on the street.
Another protest is expected to be held Thursday on the U.S. Capitol grounds in front of the Republican National Committee’s offices.