BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A large crowd gathered outside Baltimore’s City Hall Saturday night to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis earlier this week.
Although the protest remained mostly peaceful for the second night in a row, some demonstrators got violent.READ MORE: Novavax Announces Promising Late-Stage Covid-19 Vaccine Data, More Than 90% Effective
Video also captured a bottle being thrown in the direction of police outside City Hall, and a Baltimore Police car that had its rear windshield and rear passenger window smashed out earlier in the day.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren reported that police arrived in riot gear around 9:30 p.m. after people set off fireworks outside City Hall and were seen standing on top of city-owned vans that were spray-painted with graffiti.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) May 31, 2020
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) May 31, 2020
There were reports that arrests were made during demonstrations Saturday night.
Baltimore Police were actively monitoring the protest activity in the downtown area near City Hall where nearly three dozen remained late Saturday.
An order to disperse and stop criminal and destructive activity was given, the department said, however, Baltimore does not have a curfew and it is not illegal for the protesters to gather.
Baltimore Police also said the department has coordinated with Maryland State Police to activate additional resources to aid in order to keep the city safe.
The BPD has coordinated with the Maryland State Police to activate additional resources to aid in keeping our critical infrastructures safe while officers continue the work of keeping citizens of safe. Members of MSP will be transported via Humvees and are due to arrive shortly.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) May 31, 2020
During a press conference Saturday, Mayor Jack Young urged people to protest peacefully.
“We will protect your right for peaceful protests,” Young said. “But I have zero tolerance for anything that approaches chaos and law-breaking.”READ MORE: Man Shot At Mondawmin Mall Monday Afternoon
“I can’t have our city turned to chaos,” Mayor Young added. “We will not let outside influencers come into the City of Baltimore and create chaos.”
Earlier in the day, dozens of vehicles took part in a car caravan protest, which began in the city’s Station North neighborhood. Some stood holding signs reading “No justice, no peace, no racist police” and #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.”
“We have said over the years, over and over, we want this to stop, and no one has listened,” a protester told WJZ. “Now, they can’t help but listen.”
The group marched down North Avenue to Penn North at the beginning of the protest. The group later moved to outside City Hall where protesters chanted “I can’t breathe.”
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) May 30, 2020
Mayor Young said on Twitter Saturday night that the protests in Baltimore were largely peaceful, but that, “We’ve seen a few agitators taking advantage of peaceful protesters.”
Members of @BaltimorePolice are out and will maintain order on our streets. We've seen a few agitators taking advantage of peaceful protesters.
— Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young (@mayorbcyoung) May 31, 2020
“If you are currently out on the streets of Baltimore, please go home!” the mayor said as the protests continued late into the night.
Baltimore isn’t the only city where protesters gathered. Demonstrations continued around the country Saturday, including in Philadelphia, where protesters vandalized and tried to set fire to the controversial statue of former mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo.
Outside the White House, protesters gathered for the second straight day. At Lafayette Park, across from the White House, three lines of barricades separated protesters from a line of police officers in riot gear.
Protests were also reported in Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and other major cities.
On Friday night, a group of protesters gathered near the Inner Harbor before moving to City Hall. They blocked traffic along Light Street and remained peaceful.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the department is helping citizens exercise their First Amendment rights. He added that they are in a constant state of planning and in contact with Maryland State Police.MORE NEWS: 'Always Ready, Always There': The Motto Of The U.S. National Guard That Holds True, Even Off Duty