Chief Wahl's Blog

Update

June 2, 2020 2:50 AM

On Monday, a large group gathered in front of the City County Building to exercise their First Amendment rights.  The group marched to John Nolen Drive and blocked the intersection of John Nolen Drive and Northshore Drive.  MPD officers diverted traffic for several hours to facilitate the protest.  The group marched back to the City County Building and the event ended a short time later.  The protest was peaceful with no disturbances or issues.

Later in the evening, a group gathered at the top of State Street on the Capital Square to protest.  The group grew during the evening.  MPD elected not to engage the protest and allow for the First Amendment expression to continue.  During the protest, some acts of graffiti occurred, and numerous items (barricades, construction fences, etc.) were moved into the roadway.

Shortly before 1am the formal gathering ended and the crowd began to disperse.  Large groups immediately began moving down State Street, engaging in looting, graffiti, and property damage. One subject fired multiple shots in the air from a handgun, and two individuals were attacked and struck with a crowbar. Individuals were also observed attempting to light Molotov cocktails during the evening. Officers in protective gear deployed to State Street as a result of this behavior.  Multiple officers were struck with rocks and projectiles as they moved to secure the street.  Chemical agents were utilized in response.

For the third straight night, a number of individuals have come downtown not for the purpose of First Amendment expression, but to engage in violence, looting and property damage.  15 arrests were made during the night.  MPD is grateful to the many outside law enforcement agencies and National Guard personnel who assisted.

 

MPD also responded to a number of looting incidents elsewhere in the City.

 

 

[Note/clarification:  MPD has received several media questions in recent days about the use of "rubber bullets."  MPD does not use and has not deployed "rubber bullets."  However, MPD personnel have deployed a handful of less lethal sponge rounds over the course of the unrest Saturday and Sunday.]

Posted by: Chief Wahl

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