DALLAS and FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It started with hundreds gathering outside Dallas Police Headquarters Friday evening, for what organizers called a solidarity rally and march in the name of George Floyd who was killed this week in Minneapolis and others killed during interactions with police.
Early on, people in attendance got on their knees and chanted, “We can’t breathe.”READ MORE: Texas Securities Commissioner Issues Emergency Order To Stop Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Trading Program
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall showed up and told CBS 11, “We support a peaceful protest.”
Regarding why she was out there, Chief Hall said, “I’m the Chief of Police. My people are out here. They’re on the front line and I’m on the front lines right with them… I’m making sure that everybody’s safe.”
Floyd was handcuffed and lying on his stomach as Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee down on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
Chauvin was fired, later arrested and charged with murder.
“We can’t breathe” they chant, on their knees. pic.twitter.com/Nxm4OG0Wk5
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 29, 2020
Businesses nearby Dallas Police Headquarters said they were anticipating a peaceful protest, hoping Chauvin’s arrest would have defused at least a little bit of the outrage, that some of them also feeling.
Things were very calm for the first few hours, but around 9:30 p.m., demonstrators got rowdy and wouldn’t get out of the street.
Police tossed a tear gas canister into in a crowd.
Police Chief Hall said protesters threw rocks at police officers and police cars.
She told a protester face to face, “Do not throw rocks at my officers.”
Around 11:30 p.m. Dallas Police confirmed a female officer was “injured from debris.”
The officer’s injuries are non-life threatening.READ MORE: Federal Investigators Heading To Texas Following Deadly Driverless Tesla Crash
Police in riot gear faced off with a group of protesters in the street, threatening to toss more tear gas if the crowd didn’t disperse.
CBS 11’s Andrea Lucia saw clouds of tear gas as well.
Clouds of tear gas in downtown Dallas… pic.twitter.com/Ht0x1kZssH
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 30, 2020
Dallas Police surrounded their headquarters to make sure things didn’t get out of hand and DPS Troopers were coming out to serve as backup as of around 10:45 p.m.
Dallas Attorney Lee Merritt is representing the Floyd family and said they are concerned about some of the violence they’ve seen in other parts of the country, from both police and others who may detract from the purpose of the protest.
The Dallas police department released a statement before the demonstration Friday evening saying it “will not interfere with the lawful and peaceful assembly of any individuals or groups expressing their First Amendment rights.”
It warned it would intervene if it sees roads being blocked or any crimes committed.
Protestors also rallied in Fort Worth Friday night.
More than 100 people marched, and at Sundance Square, stopped and got on one knee.
The group of demonstrators in Fort Worth got bigger as they marched and made a point to go past restaurant patios and headed back toward Sundance Square, CBS 11’s Jason Allen reported.
The group looped around downtown multiple times, peacefully, while getting verbal support from drivers and people eating outside.
Later, some in the group started to block intersections near the courthouse.MORE NEWS: Police Ask For Help Identifying Suspect Who Broke Into Southeast Dallas Restaurant
Police blocked streets and gave them room to continue demonstrating.