Fri, 03 Jul 2020

Albuquerque Protest Turns Violent, Shots Fired, Fires Set

Voice of America
02 Jun 2020, 04:05 GMT+10

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A protest along the historic Route 66 into downtown Albuquerque turned violent early Monday after police reported demonstrators set small fires and officers said shots were fired at them.

The officers reported that the shots were fired in front of the historic Kimo Theater early Monday after a mostly peaceful demonstration disbanded, said Albuquerque police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos. No injuries were reported.

There was damage to several properties in the area, including looting and broken windows, he said.

Police "deployed Emergency Response Teams to a large portion of downtown to stop people who are vandalizing property and causing violence against police," Gallego said.

Before the chaos, hundreds of people marched Sunday down historic Route 66, protesting the death of George Floyd, the black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

Protesters in New Mexico's largest city held signs, wore masks and chanted, "Say his name: George Floyd" and "Hands up, don't shoot."

Activist Arthur Bell, 35, told demonstrators the march was peaceful, but he was "tired of being peaceful."

Bell said his black skin makes him a target for police, and he is fed up with that situation.

Bell told protesters there will be another demonstration Monday evening in front of Albuquerque Police Department headquarters, but that rally will be "different."

When The Associated Press asked Bell what he meant by "different," he said: "A general never gives out his tactics."

When the crowd arrived on the western edge of downtown Albuquerque late Sunday, they stopped and held a moment of silence for Floyd that was followed by cheers.

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