MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale police used tear gas on demonstrators in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Sunday evening.
A large crowd had gathered to protest the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died while in police custody last Monday.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis talks about Sunday’s protest:
Demonstrators had gathered in large numbers near the Broward County main library when police deployed the gas near a parking garage.
There were reports that police were forced to disperse the crowds after someone threw a water bottle at police.
CBS4 cameras captured protesters throwing the gas canisters back at police.
Several protesters remained in the area, while others dispersed.
Police fire tear gas at the protesters:
Police confirmed 2 arrests. They also confirmed damage to police vehicles.
A police spokesperson said things turned violent just before 7 p.m., when “individuals began to surround police vehicles and damage them.”
Jasmen Rogers from Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward said, “The protest today was organized by community activists and was constructive, powerful and peaceful; that changed well after we left at our planned time. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that people are outraged at the horrific, deadly injustice taking place across the country and here at home.”
Protesters gather in downtown Fort Lauderdale:
A video posted on social media captures a Fort Lauderdale officer pushing a woman, who had been on her knees, to the ground during the protest.
Watch it here:
Black cop save protester who was on their knees and he pushed ‼️‼️ pic.twitter.com/Kj7KAwOuP3
— IllustriousCeo (@illustriousCeo) June 1, 2020
That officer was admonished by another police officer.
CBS4 learned that officer has been suspended and that the incident is under investigation.
Fort Lauderdale police were joined by BSO deputies, who were also holding shields and wearing helmets.
Broward County Mayor Dale Holness reacted to what was going on, “It saddens me deeply. It is painful to see this in the streets of Broward County… We were hoping that the peaceful demonstration would stay peaceful.”
Police issued a dispersal order for demonstrators. Here is what they said via Twitter:
A dispersal order has been issued commanding all persons so assembled or within Downtown Fort Lauderdale to immediately and peacefully disperse. If you do not do so, you may be arrested or subject to other police action. (1/2)
— Fort Lauderdale PD (@FLPD411) June 1, 2020
Broward announced a countywide curfew would be in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The protest in Miami-Dade was peaceful. Miami-Dade police announced they had only made five arrests.
Some damage was reported to store windows in the downtown Fort Lauderdale area.
CBS4 cameras showed damage to the Museum of Discovery & Science gift shop.
Watch CBS4’s Carey Codd’s report from downtown Fort Lauderdale:
The office of Governor Ron DeSantis said that 400 members of the Florida National Guard had been called up to support local law enforcement.