Tear gas fired, police cars burn during protests in downtown Miami

Tear gas fired, police cars burn during protests in downtown Miami

Protests in downtown Miami heated up Saturday night after demonstrators began throwing objects at police and setting cars on fire.

The protests over the death of George Floyd started peacefully but turned once they made way their way onto Interstate 95, shutting down traffic for hours.

Police began firing tear gas into a crowd gathered outside the Miami Police Department.

A protester kicks back a tear gas canister during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
A protester kicks back a tear gas canister during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (Source: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a countywide curfew for 10 p.m.

Protesters could be seen throwing rocks and setting police cruisers on fire.

Two police cars burn during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
Two police cars burn during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (Source: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Police officers in riot gear stood in formation as protesters threw rocks and kicked tear gas canisters at them.

A lone protester confronts a line of police during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
A lone protester confronts a line of police during a demonstration next to the city of Miami Police Department, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (Source: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

There were also reports of looting at Bayside Marketplace along Biscayne Boulevard.

The protest started peacefully near the Torch of Friendship earlier in the day.

Protesters chant during a demonstration at the Torch of Friendship, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami.
Protesters chant during a demonstration at the Torch of Friendship, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in downtown Miami. (Source: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Elsewhere in Florida, protesters in Tampa smashed store windows and set a gas station on fire Saturday night after a peaceful demonstration during the day.

In Tallahassee, a pickup truck drove through a crowd of protesters, sending some running and screaming as the vehicle stopped and started and at one point had a person on its hood, police said, but no serious injuries were reported.

Tallahassee Police investigating after truck drives through downtown protest

PROTEST IN TALLAHASSEE: Video obtained by ABC 27 shows the moments before a truck drove through a protest in downtown Tallahassee. The Tallahassee Police Department is now investigating the incident and is asking anyone with information to contact them: https://bit.ly/3cjNR2a

Posted by WTXL Tallahassee on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Police handcuffed the driver but did not release his name or say whether he would face charges.

The tense protests are one of several throughout the country.

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