LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Protests continued for a second night outside Arkansas’ Capitol and throughout the state over the death of George Floyd.
Late Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse demonstrators outside the Capitol, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The move came after hours of peaceful protest in the capital city, police said.
Saturday protests at the Capitol also ended with police firing tear gas and pepper balls on a group that had damaged property and thrown things at officers, officials said.
“It’s our understanding that there were many folks who aren’t from Little Rock, who aren’t from central Arkansas, who aren’t even from the state of Arkansas that came to our city to be destructive,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said Sunday morning.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the peaceful protesters “expressed justifiable outrage.”
“While vandalism & defacing public property are against the law & contrary to the spirit of non-violent protest, I am hopeful that we can listen better, engage more and ultimately unite to support equal justice for all,” Hutchinson said in a statement Sunday.
Protests took place throughout the state Sunday, including in Conway, Fort Smith, Jonesboro and Russellville, over the death of Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd died May 25 after an officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.