Why did the lights outside the White House go off during the Black Lives Matter protest?

Sanjana Varghese
Monday 01 June 2020 08:30
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(Getty Images)

Protests across the US escalated over the weekend, spreading to a greater amount of cities around the world.

This wave of unrest was sparked by the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody last week in Minneapolis. Protests have spread from Minneapolis to New York and to Washington DC, where protesters marched on the White House from the city.

Protests started out peacefully, and then escalated as state patrol was pulled in to reinforce local police forces. Footage from the scene shows barricades being moved, and police officers using tear gas on protesters.

Fires were also started outside the White House, near Lafayette Park, which is the stretch of greenery leading up to the White House.

Shortly before 11pm, the White House’s exterior lights were turned off, and photos and videos quickly went viral.

It’s uncertain why this happened.

Fox News speculated that turning the lights off was done in order to make it easier for Secret Service and snipers to be able to see people’s movements more easily.

But people are pointing out that 11pm is generally when the lights go off outside the White House anyway, and that this may have seemed novel but really isn't.

Reports also indicate that President Trump, his wife Melania and their son Barron were taken to an underground bunker as a precautionary measure during the protests.

On Twitter, people pointed out that Trump had had some choice words to say about the lights being turned off during Obama’s presidency, in 2014.

There really does seem to be a Trump tweet for every occasion.

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