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Houston police officers in riot gear stood silently as protesters yelled at them.
Houston police officers in riot gear stood silently as protesters yelled at them.
Photo by Kate Mclean

Protests Heat Up After the Peaceful March On City Hall For George Floyd [UPDATED]

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.. 

Original story:

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.”

The crowd takes to its feet running.
The crowd takes to its feet running.
Photo by Jack Gorman

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. 

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