Protesters Shut Down I-4 As Hundreds March Through The City
Protests continued in Orlando Sunday past curfew, with hundreds marching through the streets of the city and shutting down Interstate 4 .
Demonstrations are being held across the U.S. after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Protesters in Orlando marched from Lake Eola to the Orlando Police Headquarters Sunday afternoon, where they chanted “George Floyd, say his name,” “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “No justice, no peace,” as police wearing riot gear looked on.
Demonstrators also kneeled, echoing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 national anthem protest. At one point, both Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon and Orange County Sheriff John Mina were photographed taking a knee with protesters.
.@OrlandoPDChief Rolón and @SheriffMina knelt down to pray with demonstrators for #GeorgeFloyd, and everyone hurting right now. Just as @orlandomayor says, Orlando is united in love, compassion, and understanding.
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) May 31, 2020
Later the group marched to a ramp onto the 408 expressway, which was blocked by a line of police officers.
Tiera Gold was waving a rainbow flag as she walked with the demonstrators.
“This is different from any other time, this is different from before, like America is really stepping up,” said Gold.
“The world is different now and everybody’s really coming together and waking up. We have to come together and we have to understand that the system that is in place, it has to change because it’s not for the people and we need a system that is for the people.”
Mario Fields wore a T-shirt printed with the words “please I can’t breathe” and “George Floyd.”
“You know the communities have been suffering from things like this, so we’re just trying just make sure our voices get heard, this time,” said Fields.
“You know, we’re just kind of tired of doing these things all the time. So we just want to make sure that hopefully this time, something changes.”
At one point, water bottles were thrown at police on the 408 ramp, who then fired tear gas.
Police deployed tear gas at other times during the evening, including during an incident at I-4 where they said demonstrators were throwing rocks, bottles and construction equipment. A spokeswoman for Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted that the Florida National Guard to Miramar and Tampa.
Yesterday, @GovDeSantis activated the @FLGuard. Currently there are 150 guardsmen in Miramar,150 in Camp Blanding & 100 arrived in Tampa.These specially trained units support law enforcement in many ways i.e. traffic & crowd control, all to preserve the peace & public safety.
— Helen Aguirre Ferré (@helenaguirrefer) May 31, 2020
ALERT ⚠️ : Unfortunately, because demonstrators are throwing rocks, bottles and construction equipment, police had to deploy tear gas. Currently, I-4 is closed between Ivanhoe & Amelia Ave. pic.twitter.com/U3HswCUeKy
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 1, 2020
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