The San Diego Police Department Sunday used tear gas and flash-bang grenades against protesters and arrested over 100 people downtown because of escalating violence.
Late Sunday, looting was reported as large numbers of people moved through downtown breaking windows and entering stores. Police responded en masse, cornering a group of looters near Fifth Avenue and C Street.
Earlier, police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades against protesters and issued an unlawful assembly order in the area of Broadway and Front Street due to escalating violence. Officers were hit with rocks and water bottles.
The mostly peaceful march through downtown San Diego and onto a portion of Interstate 5 to demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was winding down at the Hall of Justice, but some protesters were refusing to leave the area.
At 1:37 p.m., the crowd was reportedly thinning out after several hours of marching, chanting and carrying signs.
The San Diego Police Department said on Twitter, “One group has made it back to the Hall of Justice safely. Large group at our headquarters has moved to the intersection as requested. Thank you all!!”
Then at 2 p.m., the police said on Twitter, “100-200 protestors are throwing rocks and bottles at our officers at 300 Broadway. Let’s remain calm.”
And later, the police said, “Rocks and bottles have stopped. No force used by SDPD. Protestors left the area. Numerous groups walking in different parts of the downtown area. Motorists are advised to be careful and stay clear if possible to ensure everyone’s safety.”
At 2:38 p.m., police said, “Aggressive crowd at State/Broadway. Throwing objects at our officers.”
Then at 3:19 p.m., police said: “Unlawful assembly order being given in the area of Broadway. We are asking everyone to disperse immediately due to the escalation of violence by the protesters.”
We are asking everyone to disperse immediately due to the escalation of violence & vandalism by the protestors. pic.twitter.com/vfh8O2KwoO
— San Diego Police Department (@SanDiegoPD) May 31, 2020
Earlier on Sunday, several hundred protesters marched onto southbound Interstate 5 after walking through downtown streets.
CHP officers stopped traffic on both the northbound and southbound I-5 downtown at 12:30 p.m.
At one point, the crowd kneeled under a bridge as officers tried to stop the protesters from moving south before the Imperial Avenue exit. Officers tried to get the protesters to exit the freeway on Imperial Avenue. Organizers of the protest march tried to lead the crowd off the freeway, but some in the crowd refused to follow.
The protesters eventually exited the freeway and tried to cross the Coronado Bridge, but police stopped all vehicle traffic both ways and blocked protesters from getting on the bridge. The group then turned around and headed back downtown from Barrio Logan.
Earlier Sunday, protesters marched through downtown San Diego, starting at the Hall of Justice, and ending up at San Diego Police Department headquarters before they entered the I-5 freeway.
At around 11:30 a.m. near the San Diego Concourse, the crowd stopped at the corner of First Avenue and A Street to hold a moment of silence, as seen on a livestream from a San Diego TV station.
Most protesters were wearing facial coverings, many carrying signs.
At about 11:45 a.m. the crowd turned and began marching down A Street, where a group of San Diego police officers were blocking the street. Chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot!” could be heard from some protesters.
Many of them kneeled in front of the police, chanting “George Floyd.”
The protest march on downtown streets began at about 10 a.m. with an estimated 100 people. As they marched toward Little Italy, the size of the crowd kept growing.
The march continued west on West Hawthorn Street toward North Harbor Drive along San Diego Bay. They then marched south on North Harbor Drive and ended up at the San Diego Concourse.
The size of the crowd was described by a reporter at the scene as being four city blocks long.
At 11:46 a.m., the San Diego Police Department said on Twitter: “We are assisting a group of several hundred community members have their voices heard in downtown SD. We will always facilitate peaceful protests. Traffic in the area may be impacted.”
A group gathered outside police headquarters after 12:30 p.m., prompting another tweet, “Crowd remains peaceful and are now at our headquarters. We will facilitate peaceful voices not violent acts.”
Updated at 7:30 a.m., Monday, June 1, 2020
— City News Service
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