BLM protestors washington DC
© Reuters / Tom Brenner
Police officers clear Black Lives Matter Plaza of protestors, Washington, DC, June 23, 2020
A Democrat lawmaker and an MSNBC reporter have been left wondering where the police were, after they were apparently attacked in a fledgling 'autonomous zone' near the White House.

Perhaps spurred on by activists in Seattle's 'Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone', a group of protesters in Washington, DC occupied a street near the White House this weekend, declaring it the 'Black House Autonomous Zone'. Though police cleared the street of tents and trash on Tuesday, a large crowd remained, and Democrat Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton was on the street to talk to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.


The interview was cut short when what appeared to be a bikini-clad man made a dash for the pair. He got within several feet of Norton and Mitchell before a private security team collared him and pulled him aside. Earlier, the man was seen on a segway scooter shouting profanities.

"Where's the police when you need them?" Norton exclaimed as her security detail let the would-be attacker away. Curiously, Norton introduced a bill earlier this month that would prevent the president assuming control of Washington, DC's police force in an emergency. At the time, Mayor Muriel Bowser had just declared the streets around the White House a celebratory space for protests, going as far as renaming the street Norton was nearly attacked on "Black Lives Matter Plaza."

Hours before the attempted attack, Trump again threatened to meet the protesters with "serious force." Norton criticized the president's threat, declaring that the police should not be used to clear a "peaceful protest."

It is still unclear whether her own experience has changed her mind on this.