After seeing how the protesters were being handled by the police, some houses in the neighbourhood opened their doors for the protesters to take shelter in.
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
And, among them was an Indian-origin man, Rahul Dubey, who offered shelter to nearly 60 protesters, for more than eight hours so that they couldn't be arrested by Metropolitan Police Department officers.
Rahul saved lives last night. He ended this with an inspirational speech about not giving up and keeping up the peaceful fight. What a guy. Thank you Rahul. #SwannStreet #savejenny pic.twitter.com/e0SETLcSpw— BLACKLIVESMATTER (@kikivonfreaki) June 2, 2020
Dubey also gave an interview to a news channel describing the scenes.
THE POLICE BOXED IN A GROUP OF PEACEFUL PROTESTERS AND THEN STARTED HITTING AND MACING PEOPLE. A MAN TOOK SOME OF US INTO HIS HOUSE AND THE POLICE HAVE US TRAPPED. THERE ARE PEOPLE STILL TRAPPED IN THE STREET ON 15th AND SWANN pic.twitter.com/H2B2QCup1o— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
In videos and photos that are doing rounds on the internet, police officers can be seen arresting demonstrators for violating the curfew.
currently stuffing protestors into a van pic.twitter.com/EibaAhxDXG— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
WTOP reporter Ken Duffy shared pictures and videos on social media of police blocking roads and alleys in the neighborhood.
He also claimed that they were "pinned down" at 15th and Swann Street. Later, Duffy also took shelter in Rahul Dubey's home before leaving.
They shot mace at peaceful protesters is a residential neighborhood. The man who took us in is named Rahul Dubey. He gave us business cards in case they try to say we broke in. pic.twitter.com/gKzmrvCa75— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
This is Rahul. Rahul saved 62 DC protesters who were trapped for hours on his block by police. He allowed them to stay all night, fed them, gave them water, charged their phones, and most importantly kept them safe. This was no party, the police through pepper spray canisters pic.twitter.com/ZDpNkfXsoa— suckmyunicorn (@suckmyunicornD) June 2, 2020
Describing the horrific scenes, this is what one witness told News4 over the phone:
They charged all the way up into this man's door and maced everybody coming into this house. Thank goodness for us in the house we're safe, we're ok. But there's no way for us to get out of this house and not get arrested.
MPD promised that no one would get arrested if they ordered food for the hungry protesters trapped inside but now cops are refusing to let the driver deliver the food.— Alex Taliadoros (@AlexCTaliadoros) June 2, 2020
Here is the resident of the house who voluntarily took in the protesters negotiating with police for food. pic.twitter.com/2X8iQgztu4
Through the night, the police and Dubey were in contact with each other. In an interview he said:
People in the house ranged from 18 to 50 in age. They were an amazing group of people that were gathered here peacefully.
If you had seen what was going on in front of my eyes, there was no choice.
According to protesters, a few other houses on the block also took in some protesters.
another neighbor just opened their door and let protestors run in, Police followed them in pic.twitter.com/01StC2m8Sa— Meka (@MekaFromThe703) June 2, 2020
At 6 AM when the curfew finally lifted, protesters who were taking shelter slowly and quietly emerged from the houses, thanking all those who helped them.
Eventually, Dubey asked everyone to get home safe and to get some rest. While bidding the protesters goodbye the next morning, Dubey said:
Make sure you take care of that mental health, strength, so we can continue to go out there to rise peacefully with intelligence and make a solid argument. I love you guys.
People all over social media are thanking Dubey for his kind gesture.
I’m in tears over this man.— Letisha Bereola (@LetishaANjax) June 2, 2020
What a kind, wonderful man. I hope and pray he isn't targeted for his act of generosity and care.— opossum my possum #BLM (@telebones) June 2, 2020
Love him!— #ButDidUWashYoHands 😷 (@JustCuriousPoe) June 2, 2020
A HUMAN BEING. A BROTHER— Sickmatic (@sickeverybody) June 2, 2020
Dude's a class act.— Louis (@LouseGrouse) June 2, 2020
Thank you, Rahul Dubey, for your humanity!— Kat Ward (@katwardphoto) June 2, 2020
Stay safe hero. They'll be coming after you.— woody (@woodenraygun) June 2, 2020
We need more generous souls like him.