Update 3:15 p.m. 06.03.20: Houston Police have tweeted out that their officers made more than 200 arrests last night among people who refused to clear the streets — some of whom were throwing rocks and bottles at officers..
Our officers have made more than 200 arrests thus far in downtown Houston today/tonight of individuals engaged in criminal conduct, including throwing rocks and bottles at officers. Many, despite orders to clear the streets, refused to do so and were taken into custody. #hounews— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) June 3, 2020
On Tuesday, after a powerful and peaceful march that attracted what organizers estimated to be 60,000 people in honor of George Floyd, yet another splinter faction of the group flirted with destruction beginning in late afternoon.
Houston police chief Art Acevedo was called back to Discovery Green, particularly the intersection of Walker and Crawford, by Mayor Sylvester Turner around 6:30 p.m.
Acevedo spent over half an hour talking in the middle of a 40-person crowd reiterating his disappointment in people that he said were now trying to hijack the peaceful march earlier. “When you’re destructive, you're giving a reason to the people that are in charge, to fight change.”
Protester Justin James Jones held a megaphone and led the discussion with Acevedo, preaching the need to rely on legislation to do things the right way.
“I want to make a change, I want to make it forever, and the way we do that is in Washington. That way every state will be affected. What did Martin Luther King do? He went to the White House because that’s where the power is,” he said.
Jones called out several from the group asking which Houston neighborhood they were from and to see some identification. “We don’t need the bulk of y’all coming down here, we can do it ourselves.“
Soon after, some demonstrators who were previously yelling at police officers suited up in riot gear, lay on the concrete with their hands behind their back chanting, “I can’t breathe.”
Near the George R. Brown convention center, a stun grenade popped off sending a crowd running in the opposite direction. As police officers walked in a line toward the detonation, water bottles were hurled at them.
This action was met with several protesters screaming frantically at those who had thrown the water bottles. "Stop throwing those," and, "This is a peaceful protest," could be heard from many.
Around 8 p.m. officers on foot and on horse began boxing people in stating, “You are breaking the law, please go home.”
At 8:45 p.m. Acevedo could still be seen talking with a group of people on Walker.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.