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Protesters gathered in downtown Tucson ordered to disperse

Posted at 8:33 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-30 04:02:16-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd have made their way to Tucson.

The night began with about 100 protesters gathered downtown Friday evening, and could be heard chanting "George Floyd" and "F--- the police" while knocking down street signs. Passers-by were spotted yelling from their cars.

As the night wore on, the crowd grew in size and so did the number of police officers present. Protesters in masks could be seen spraying graffiti on downtown buildings, and a dumpster was lit on fire along Congress Street.

RELATED: Why Black Lives Matter Tucson decided not to organize in-person protests for George Floyd

Dozens of police officers in riot gear came to calm the crowd, declaring the gathering an "unlawful assembly." Most protesters ignored police orders to disperse.

Floyd was an unarmed black man who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was charged with murder and was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. Floyd was heard on video saying that he could not breathe. Three other officers who were involved in the incident while Chauvin held Floyd down for almost nine minutes have not been arrested or charged. They were removed from the police department.

A march and protest took place in Phoenix Thursday night.

Another protest and a wake for Floyd are set to happen in Tucson Saturday.