Protesters in Lafayette Square near the White House attempted to take down a statue of former President Andrew Jackson on Monday evening, but were unsuccessful.
Demonstrators used ropes to try to topple the statue, which depicts Jackson on a horse, but police formed a barrier in front of it. WUSA9 reports that police used pepper spray to push protesters out of the park, and some of the station's reporters were hit.
The U.S. Park Police issued a statement on Monday night saying the park is temporarily closed, and they are "actively working" to keep demonstrators from tearing down the statue. While law enforcement worked to clear out the park, Secret Service agents at the White House asked members of the press to immediately leave the grounds, offering no explanation as to why they had to go, CNN reports.
Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was a slave owner, with records showing he beat his slaves. He was also behind the Indian Removal Act, which allowed the government to carry out forced relocations, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Native Americans.