A Washington D.C. man is being praised after allowing around 70 protesters into his home after they were allegedly corralled and pepper-sprayed by police. The nation's capital has imposed a strict curfew from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. for Monday and Tuesday, with exemptions for essential workers and the media. Others risk being arrested.
Rahul Dubey allowed the protesters to shelter in his home until the curfew was over to avoid getting in trouble.
Dubey told ABC7 that about an hour and a half into the curfew, police began setting up roadblocks near his house. Soon, people began sitting on his porch and asking if they could come inside to charge their phones and use the toilet.
"Two people realized that they were pinned in, and I said if they needed to get out, they could go out my back alleyway," Dubey added, saying that he let several protesters use the route.
Then, at around 9 p.m. Dubey said that "mayhem" began as police shoved and used pepper spray against the protesters that had gathered outside his home. Dubey described the scene as a "human tsunami."
Dubey quickly opened the door, and the people outside of his house began running inside.
"I kept on yelling get inside," Dubey says as he says police began to push people onto the ground.
"They're pepper spraying, and everyone is coughing, and I'm coughing, and falling on the steps, and pouring into the house."
"Once the police line pushed past my front door, there was no sea of people anymore ... and so, I locked the door, I got in and I looked, and everyone's pouring water on there faces, the police are shooting pepper spray in from my window, there's milk being poured, some people are creaming."
Dubey says that he opened the back door and the upstairs windows to try and get the gas out.
Dubey let the protesters remain in his home until the morning so that they wouldn't get in trouble. Several protesters in the house took to social media to share their experiences.
"I’m at a house in DC after being pepper-sprayed and knocked down by the police," one explained. "There are about 100 of us in a house surrounded by cops. All the neighbors on this street opened their doors and are tending to protesters. The cops corralled us on this street and sprayed us down."
I’m at a house in DC after being pepper sprayed and knocked down by the police. There are about 100 of us in a house surrounded by cops. All the neighbors on this street opened their doors and are tending to protesters. The cops corralled us on this street and sprayed us down.— Allison Lane (@allieblablah) June 2, 2020
"Lots of people are hurt but not terribly," the protester wrote in a later tweet. "They chased us away from the White House with flash bangs into a residential neighborhood. Nobody is really sure when we’ll be able to leave. The cops are trying to tell us we won’t be arrested if we leave the house."
"Also now the cops are trying to say we broke into the house - we didn’t. The owner just came down and let us know what people were saying. And gave us water and shelter."
She went on to explain that some people stayed in the basement of the property.
Also now the cops are trying to say we broke into the house - we didn’t. The owner just came down and let us know what people were saying. And gave us water and shelter.— Allison Lane (@allieblablah) June 2, 2020
According to the protester, Dubey and others ordered pizza to the house, while neighbors also brought food to the house. Throughout the entire situation, Dubey refused police efforts to get the people to leave.
Other houses on the street also opened their doors to protesters.
Cops are trying to convince Rahul to get us out of the house. He said we not leaving and bring me my pizza.— Allison Lane (@allieblablah) June 2, 2020
Dubey earned plenty of praise throughput the night and into the morning.
As did other homeowners.
When morning came, the protesters were able to leave the house. Dubey called the protesters "heroes" in an interview with ABC7 and added, "I hope that my 13-year-old son grows up to be just as amazing as they are."
"I hope that my 13-year-old son grows up to be just as amazing as they are."— ABC 7 News - WJLA (@ABC7News) June 2, 2020
Rahul Dubey opened his home to nearly 70 strangers overnight and sheltered them during D.C.'s curfew. He says our country needs people like THEM.
FULL INTERVIEW: https://t.co/hucxiraHk9 pic.twitter.com/BKFMsTsSgk