On Sunday evening, MPD officers were present in the State Street area to protect community members' First Amendment Rights and maintain public safety. At about 6pm, a group formed on the Capital Square, initially engaging in peaceful protest. The group began marching up and down State Street, and around the Capital Square. The marching continued over the course of several hours, and the group grew in size to several hundred. Occasional rocks were thrown at officers during this time, but officers did not engage the crowd and continued observing.
The crowd continued marching after the 9:30pm curfew went into effect. As the group was marching in the street, MPD initially made the determination not to engage the crowd for violating the curfew order. Officers remained in standard uniforms, passively observing the crowd and blocking traffic when necessary.
Shortly before 10pm, the crowd surrounded a group of officers (in standard uniform) who had been observing. Projectiles were thrown at the officers, and one individual struck an officer in the face. Shortly after that, additional officers responded to the area and chemical agents were dispersed.
Officers continued efforts to disperse the crowd, utilizing chemical agents. The group eventually scattered through the downtown area. As the group moved through the downtown area:
- Multiple stores were looted in the State Street area.
- Multiple fires were set.
- Rocks and other projectiles were thrown at officers; several officers were injured as a result.
- Numerous other instances of graffiti and property damage occurred.
- 15 arrests were made. One individual arrested for looting was armed with a handgun. Several attempted to steal an MPD squad.
MPD was assisted by a number of other law enforcement agencies as well as National Guard personnel. MPD remains committed to protecting First Amendment rights and maintaining public safety. Unfortunately, over the last two nights a number of individuals have been intent on acting in a violent and destructive manner.
MPD also responded to a number of incidents of looting across the City.