More tear gas but third night of protests in Kansas City less chaotic, violent

Dan Weinbaum
June 01, 2020 - 1:45 pm
Demonstrators and police face each other during a protest at the Country Club Plaza on May 31, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

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Kansas City, MO - The third day and night of protest in Kansas City over the death of George Floyd was considerably calmer than the previous night with much less property damage. Though police did use tear gas to disburse crowds and a few cars were burned in the evening. 

As of Monday afternoon, police say a total of 151 people had been arrested since Friday when the protests began at the Plaza.  Saturday night saw the largest number of arrests, after groups of people became violent, with multiple storefront windows in the shopping district smashed, some looting, and a police car burned. 

KCPD released numbers showing 5 people were arrested on Friday; 83 arrested on Saturday; and 63 on Sunday.  A department spokesman said about 20 officers were injured in total, most treated for minor injuries caused by flying projectiles, with two needing hospitalization.
 

Earlier on Sunday, Mayor Quinton Lucas signed an emergency order establishing a 8pm curfew for several districts in the city. 

In the afternoon, what appeared to be several thousand people had converged on the park surrounding the JC Nichols fountain on the east edge of the Country Club Plaza.  

At one point, Lucas joined the crowd, addressing one section over a megaphone and kneeled with demonstrators as a sign of support. 
 


As described to the Kansas City Star, the gathering was intended to be "a good old-fashioned protest."  Many people carried signs and chanted slogans. While some 'faced-off' with police officers.  Overall, it was a peaceful protest.

Several groups broke off and began marching through city streets, and the KCPD responded by blocking roads to vehicle traffic to allow for the marchers to pass by. 


One extraordinary scene during the Kansas City protest had people chanting "don't shoot" at police in riot gear, and the officers beating a rhythm onto their shields with their batons, keeping time with the protesters.

 

 

As evening fell on the Plaza, along with the 8pm curfew, the crowd had thinned substantially. 

The KCPD tweeted, "The curfew is in effect. We encourage everyone to go home, but we will not take enforcement action unless the peace is disrupted."
 


But then water bottles were thrown toward police and officers deployed canisters of tear gas to disperse the crowd.



 

Near the Plaza, a car belonging to TV station KSHB-41 was set on fire.  A vehicle belonging to KMBC-9 was also vandalized.
 


 

And then around midnight... the protests, the demonstrations, those looking for confrontation... it was over.  

KCPD officer Jake Becchina commended the community for the mostly peaceful protests on Sunday but said some groups of people “unfortunately chose to ruin it for everyone.”

Becchina also applauded the job of fellow officers and the support given to KCPD from other local agencies.

“We feel like this is wrapped up,” Becchina said. “We don’t have any direct intelligence that we’re going to have something tomorrow at this point.”

 

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