Donald Trump was rushed into a White House bunker when hundreds of people protesting the death of George Floyd gathered outside, throwing stones and pulling at police barricades.
The US President is believed to have spent almost an hour in the bunker – which is intended for use in emergencies such as terrorist attacks – while violent demonstrations continued in dozens of US cities.
Mr Floyd, 46, died after a white former police officer was filmed kneeling by the neck for almost nine minutes during his arrest in Minneapolis for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill in a store.
The protests outside the White House triggered one of the highest alarms at the U.S. President’s residence since the September 11 attacks.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades into a large crowd of people who ignored the social distancing measures of the Coronavirus and protested to the White House in Lafayette Park.
People ran away and piled up street signs and plastic barriers to start a fire in a nearby street, with some pulling an American flag down from a building and throwing it into the fire.
Mr Trump was unsettled by the scenes, as a Republican close to the White House, who was not authorised to discuss it publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.