Little Rock protests “expression of pain and anguish”, Mayor Scott says

Little Rock protests “expression of pain and anguish”, Mayor Scott says
The Arkansas State Police responded Saturday evening to protests in downtown Little Rock in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. (Source: KARK-TV)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT/KATV/KARK) - During a Sunday morning press conference, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said the protests in Little Rock Saturday were an “expression of pain and anguish” in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

According to content partner KATV, the press conference started with a prayer and Scott told the press that he was proud of protesters who walked in a peaceful manner as well as police who protected the protesters.

Scott also called for understanding for the protests.

Officials said protesters temporarily blocked I-630 in downtown Little Rock, went to the interstate peacefully and left without any injuries.

From there, protesters went to the state Capitol grounds on Woodlane Street, with some people breaking windows and spray painting buildings, KATV reported.

A large firework could also be heard near the Capitol steps, content partner KARK reported.

Protesters could be heard telling the people breaking the windows to stop.

However, the protest became in disarray.

“The demonstration turned chaotic when heavily-armed Arkansas State Police troopers arrived and began firing tear gas to clear the area. (Police Chief Keith) Humphrey said one officer was injured after getting hit by a thrown object and succumbing to tear gas,” KATV reported.

The officer was reported to be okay Sunday and no arrests have been made.

Humphrey also said that Little Rock police deployed tear gas and pepper balls after some protesters threw objects at police and tried to grab the officers’ police shields, KATV said.

State officials respond

The protests Saturday also drew responses from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

Each of the officials said while there is a right to peaceful protest, guaranteed in the Constitution, vandalism, violence and rioting are against that principle.

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