One Arrested During Generally Peaceful Protest in St. Petersburg
The protester was arrested after jumping on a car that was trying to get through the crowd, St. Pete police say.
ST. PETERSBURG – A protest to call attention to racial injustice, abuse of power, white supremacy, and police brutality was generally peaceful, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
There was only one arrest – when a protester jumped on the hood of a car that was trying to pass. At one point, protestors shouted down St. Petersburg police Chief Anthony Holloway when he spoke.
“We respect and support the right for people to protest peacefully, however we will draw the line when protestors break the law or threaten the safety of the residents of our city,” Holloway said after the march.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman agreed, saying, “”We don’t tolerate abuses of power, police brutality, or injustice. We also don’t tolerate violent protests. Protest peaceably, protest with a purpose,
and we will support you.”
The demonstration was one of many across the country in the wake of the death last week of George Floyd at the hands of four white Minneapolis police officers, who have since been fired.One of the officers, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other three are under investigation.
According to the criminal complaint, one of the officers, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while he pleaded for air and called out for “Mama.”
Chauvin allegedly kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck after he stopped moving. They also did not move after they were unable to feel a pulse, according to the complaint. Three other officers stood by and watched without trying to help Mr. Floyd.
Activists and civil rights advocates said the “murder” of Mr. Floyd was the latest unjustified killing of an unarmed black man or woman by white police officers who are not held accountable for their actions.
The first demonstration calling for justice was in Minneapolis. They then spread across the U.S.
About 300 protesters gathered outside the St. Petersburg Police Department for several hours Saturday (May 30). The large group filled First Avenue N. Officers said they kept traffic from interrupting them.
As the crowd dispersed, officers allowed traffic to move down First Avenue N. At that point, police said, one of the protestors jumped on the hood of one of the cars trying to get through. Officers arrested that one person.
A smaller group continued marching through downtown St. Pete and on Martin Luther King Street for several hours. There were no confrontations and no damage. The group eventually returned to the police department where a small contingent of about 30 protesters remained chanting. By about midnight, all protesters had left.
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