COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Protests were largely peaceful Sunday following a night of unrest that saw dozens arrested and countless more sprayed with tear gas.
Police lined up on a street in downtown Colorado Springs 5/30/20.
Demonstrators took to the downtown streets beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday, marching to City Hall at one point and lying on their stomachs for nine minutes in tribute to George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minnesota law enforcement set off a wave of protests nationwide.
Protesters told 11 News the nine minutes on the ground represented what Floyd endured during his final moments.
Early evening, the crowd marched up Nevada Avenue to the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center, where 11 News reporter Catherine Silver says they first knelt in the middle of the street, then laid on their stomachs shouting, "I can't breathe!" in reference to Floyd's final words.
Protesters then went right up to the barricade standing between them and police headquarters and confronted officers. While some officers engaged with the crowd -- Silver filmed an officer and protester shaking hands at the barricade -- by nightfall the situation had turned a standoff between protesters and officers, with the crowd refusing to back away from the barricade despite repeated orders by police. The impasse came to an end around midnight when protesters started throwing objects including water bottles at police, forcing officers to push the crowd back.
The protest ended before 1 a.m. Monday and is expected to resume at 10 a.m.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS SINCE SATURDAY EVENING
-5/30, 7:30 p.m.
CSPD tweeted the following:
"Unfortunately, during tonight's protest in front of the Police Operations Center, several protesters engaged in criminal activity.
Please avoid the downtown area as officers work to safely bring the protest back to a peaceful state."
CSPD explained they had to use "chemical irritants" on the crowd in order to disperse the "unlawful and violent gathering."
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office provided the following update:
At about 10:15 p.m. the El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced all downtown roads are closed to vehicles and pedestrians. Multiple people have been arrested.
CSPD is reporting they had to use "chemical irritants" on the crowd in order to disperse the "unlawful and violent gathering."
Police wanted to add clarity on the "criminal activity" taking place. They stated protesters were damaging property and there were acts of violence, such as throwing rocks and bottles.
"We support everyone's right to peacefully protest, and ask that everyone avoid the area until we can bring this to a peaceful conclusion," CSPD wrote on social media.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced all roads in downtown Colorado Springs are closed to both vehicles
5/31, 2 a.m.
The sheriff's office says as of 2 a.m., 24 people had been arrested in connection with the protests. Because of how hectic the night was, a spokesperson with the sheriff's office tells 11 News she did not have information on charges. All were transported to the jail and either booked or served and released.
8:15 a.m.: Police tell 11 News all roads are back open in downtown Colorado Springs, with the exception of Rio Grande Street between Nevada Avenue and Weber Street, where the Police Operations Center is located. A lieutenant tells 11 News that closure will remain in place Sunday. 11 News reporter Ashley Franco says she saw blockades on Vermijo Avenue between Cascade Avenue and Tejon Street, where the El Paso County Sheriff's Office headquarters is located.
10 a.m.: Protesters gather at the corner of Bijou and Wahsatch, where reporters Franco and Olivia DaRocha say some speakers were urging the crowd to remain peaceful.
11 a.m.: About 300 protesters laid on their stomachs in from of City Hall, chanting, "I can't breathe," a reference to some of George Floyd's final words. The crowd said they would be doing this for nine minutes to represent what Floyd endured.
1:30 p.m.: Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers says he will not be issuing a curfew for the city Sunday night.
2:30 p.m. Colorado Springs police tell our news partners at The Gazette that 38 people total were arrested Saturday night. (Editor's note: The El Paso County Sheriff's Office originally told us 38 were arrested by CSPD on top of the 24 arrested by EPSO, but now tell us it was 38 people total arrested by both Springs officers and EPSO deputies.)
7:14 p.m.: Crowd moves towards Police Operations Center.
10 p.m.: Protesters and officers have been engaged in a peaceful standoff at the police headquarters for more than an hour. Silver reports the crowd has been ignoring orders by police to back away and have been standing still for the last 60 minutes.
11:34 p.m.: Demonstrators are again kneeling in the street and are calling on officers to do the same in response to Floyd's death, with some in the crowd shouting they will go home once officers take a knee. Police tell 11 News they can't take a knee because their riot gear is too heavy and it makes them vulnerable.
6/1, 12:15 a.m.: Police warn the crowd to disperse or they will be arrested. Flashbangs or similar are used to split the crowd. 11 News is told protesters have started throwing objects including water bottles at police.