KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Peaceful protests that started midday in the Plaza transitioned with the sunset to unlawful civil unrest, the demonstrations sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Police told FOX4 that several large violent groups of protesters have thrown frozen water bottles and rocks. Reports indicate some people in the crowd damaged and looted area businesses. Later, a police car ended up fully engulfed in flames at 46th Terrace and Wyandotte.
Officers arrived at the protest around 4 p.m. on May 30. Striking video posted to FOX4’s Facebook page shows J.C. Nichols fountain in the Plaza shrouded in gas later during sunset, after police deemed the activities illegal.
Several loud bangs were heard, and video shows explosions in the street. Police Capt. Dave Jackson said that they were likely fireworks, and that KCPD officers were not deploying any devices like that.
George Floyd was an unarmed, handcuffed black man who died while in Minneapolis police custody. Video shows three officers kneeling on his back. One officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck, despite Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breath.
Floyd died soon after.
All four officers involved in the incident were soon fired. Derek Chauvin was later arrested and charged with murder.
Floyd’s death came shortly after 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, also a man who was black, was killed in Georgia. A father and a son were charged in the killing, but it was two months after the incident, which sparked national outrage.
The first day of protests in Kansas City on May 29 led to several arrests and some property damage. Despite KC Mayor Lucas passionately condemning protest vandalism, demonstrations devolved over time on Saturday, quickly becoming unlawful.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson quickly declared a State of Emergency in response to protests, describing them as creating hazards that are beyond the abilities of local authorities to manage. The declaration activates the Missouri National Guard and Highway Patrol to add to local police forces.
More protests are anticipated for Sunday, May 31.