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US Election 2020: Protestors clash with police in Washington after two men detained

People gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near White House in Washington.

Tensions have escalated in Washington DC after police detained two black men amid a nailbiting election night in the US.

Protestors squared off with officers on Washington DC’s Black Lives Matter Plaza, after the men were detained outside the Labourers’ International Union Building. 

Officers on bikes formed a barrier between the men and the crowd as protestors tried to force themselves through.

Chants of “no justice, no peace” could be heard while demonstrators called on police to release the men.

Some demonstrators kicked police bicycles while others called for the crowd to stop them from taking away the the two detainees.

It was not clear why the two individuals were being held by police.

The protests appeared to be the first sign of significant tension amid fears of major civil unrest across the country.

Unrest occurred against the backdrop of a closer race than many had anticipated from polling ahead of the election.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden was thought to have a comfortable lead over Mr Trump but close results in a number of swing states have made the path to the presidency unclear.

People gather in Black Lives Matter Plaza near the White House in Washington.

Business owners across the country boarded up shop fronts ahead of expected election protests.

Police departments have also cancelled time off and were deploying more officers than usual to ramp up patrols.

Earlier on in the day there had been a more relaxed atmosphere on the plaza in downtown Washington, with crowds gathering around a projector to watch live updates from across the US.

Demonstrators broke into dance while following a lorry load of musicians through the downtown area.

A heavy police presence escorted the lorry, mostly playing R&B music, on a slow crawl through the streets near the White House.

Black Lives Matter supporters dance as they demonstrate in the streets outside the White House.

One of the musicians had urged the crowd not to cause trouble ahead of a night in which tempers were expected to fray.

Bernadette Eichelberger, a 68-year-old retired health care worker, admitted the wait for results had frayed her nerves.

She said she had spent much of the last week phoning potential voters for Mr Biden and is fearful of what another victory for Mr Trump will mean for the country.

She told the PA news agency: “I’ve been worried for the last year.

“I’ve been sick for the last four years of what he’s done to this country.

“It would only get worse – we will become a fascist country if he gets elected.”

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