BOSTON — Protesters took to the streets again to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis last month.
Vigils, demonstrations and marches continued across Massachusetts on Tuesday, with one of the biggest protests being held in Boston, where participants gathered at Franklin Park in Jamaica Plain earlier in the day.
Protestors occurred in cities including Boston, Lowell, Brockton and Quincy. Yet some of the protests turned violent after sundown.
In Brockton Tuesday evening, protesters began throwing objects and lighting flares at police officers as they stood outside the Brockton police station on Commercial Street. Later, they set one Dunkin Donuts on fire.
The protesters began yelling and cursing at police officers. They also vandalized businesses.
A nearby Dunkin’ on North Montello Street was set on fire, and its windows were smashed.
One rioter threw a brick at a news crew. The crew was unharmed.
One man, 23-year-old Schmidreck Georges, of Brockton, was arrested while rioters were throwing bricks and rocks and shooting off fireworks at police. Georges has been charged with one count each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a Brockton Police officer, failure to disperse from a riot, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
He was released on cash bail on Wednesday and is scheduled to be arraigned on June 11.
A standoff between protesters and police resulted, playing out on live television, as law enforcement officers and members of the Massachusetts National Guard tried to quell the crowd.
Rioters were seen smashing the glass of another nearby business close to the police station.
They threw bottles and bricks and lit fireworks as chaos erupted in downtown Brockton.
The situation in Brockton made national news, and was broadcast on Fox News on Tuesday night.
In an effort to try and quell the crowd, police dispersed tear gas. A large group of officers, several of them carrying batons, marched toward the crowd in Brockton.
Members of the Massachusetts National Guard was also on scene, with soldiers standing on top of the police station.
The violent scene in Brockton Tuesday night mirrored the destruction and chaos that occurred in Boston on Sunday night, after a day of largely peaceful protests to memorialize Floyd suddenly turned violent.
Scores of rioters and looters destroyed dozens of Boston businesses by smashing store fronts of businesses on Newbury Street and at Copley Place, among other areas of Boston.
As cars idled on Boston streets, looters ran into stores, and then were recorded on live television running outside carrying loads of stolen merchandise, getting into vehicles, and driving off.
Thousands have gathered in recent days to protest Floyd’s death and to call for social justice reform, calling attention to the number of black people killed and harassed by police.
Local leaders, including Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, and numerous religious leaders and advocates joined protesters in calling for justice and peace.
Monday night, a large police presence was seen in Boston in efforts to discourage riots and looting from developing after the violence that ensued on Sunday night.
Tuesday’s protests started off as peaceful as demonstrators united and marched together, chanting things like, “No justice, No peace” and “Black lives matter.”
On social media, a movement dubbed #BlackoutTuesday prompted users to post black squares to their feeds and timelines while flooding their stories with information on protests, how to stop racism, how to support black business and more.
The movement aimed at silencing anything that wasn’t related to the George Floyd protests in efforts to bring awareness to the cause and amplify black voices and leadership.
Later in the evening in Boston, the peaceful protest at Franklin Park slowly came to an end.
Meanwhile, the protests in Brockton had started peacefully at West Middle School on West Street around 5 p.m.
But things escalated as the protest turned violent, and rioters became destructive.
Boston 25 Security Analyst Dan Linskey discussed the tense situation as it unfolded in Brockton, and how police officers are dealing with crowds amid the protests condemning Floyd’s death at the hands of police.
Meanwhile, over in Quincy, protesters at the vigil for Floyd took a knee in his honor and in memory of all other black lives lost to racism and discrimination.
Businesses across the Boston area continued to board up their storefronts, in anticipation of possible riots and looting.