BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A group of demonstrators gathered in downtown Baltimore Friday night to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
The group, which gathered along the Inner Harbor around 7 p.m., blocked traffic along Light Street.
Some held signs and others chanted before the group splintered. Some went to City Hall to continue to protest.
— Avajoye Burnett (@AvajoyeWJZ) May 30, 2020
Police said early Friday they had a contingency plan should their be protests in Baltimore. Officers on bikes and on foot, as well as in vehicles, monitored the crowd. Some officers tried to redirect traffic.
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Protests continued around the country for Floyd, including in Washington D.C., where Secret Service and Metropolitan Police responded near the White House where a large crowd gathered Friday night.
For the fourth night in a row, protestors gather in Minneapolis where officials implemented an 8 p.m. curfew. Last night, a police precinct was set on fire, along with several other buildings.
Police initially said Floyd was resisting arrest and had a medical incident. However, video obtained by CBS News shows Floyd cooperating with officers, at least in the initial moments of the encounter.
A bystander’s video showed Floyd pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer — identified as Derek Chauvin — knelt on his neck and kept his knee there for several minutes after Floyd stopped moving and became unresponsive.
A group has gathered and is marching in downtown Baltimore to protest the death of George Floyd, who was killed after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin used his knee on Floyd’s neck to pin him down during an arrest.
Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with murder in Floyd’s fatal arrest.
— Avajoye Burnett (@AvajoyeWJZ) May 29, 2020
Maryland leaders condemned the deadly arrest Friday during various press conferences.
“The killing of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement is both deeply horrific and heartbreaking. What we saw in the video was disgusting and shocking to the conscience,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said. “This does not represent the calling of our officers to serve and protect with dignity and respect.”
Anne Arundel County’s Police Chief also commented in a press conference, where he was joined by leaders of Maryland’s African American community.
“Every right-thinking police officer in this country was disgusted by what they saw on that video. Human life matters. We exist to protect it.” he said.
He urged people to protest peacefully and they will be there to protect them.
Baltimore police said they have a plan in case protests break out in Baltimore.
Watch for coverage from WCCO, CBS Minnesota.