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LIVE BLOG | George Floyd 'I can't breathe' rally in Cleveland: Protest turns destructive as businesses around the city are vandalized and looted

The protest took a turn for the worst as the day went on

CLEVELAND — Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of downtown Cleveland today to partake in the demonstration in support of justice for the killing of George Floyd. 

Floyd was killed earlier this week in Minneapolis by a police officer who has since been taken into custody. 

Here is a chronological look at the events of the afternoon featuring tweets from 3News' Tiffany Tarpley, Rachel Polansky, Mark Naymik, and Kierra Cotton. 


9:39 A.M. - @dtCLEresidents adjust the start time of their cleanup efforts to 10 a.m. to get as much done before the extended curfew resumes at noon. "At the city's request, we will only be cleaning up trash - no glass."

9:18 A.M. - Volunteers are working to clean up the city after Saturday's damage.

7:30 A.M. - As the city's first 12-hour curfew prepares to lift, the city is asking those who are scheduled to work in downtown Cleveland on Sunday to stay at home with their families. The curfew will only be lifted for four hours because city officials have decided to extend it. The new curfew restrictions are in place from 12 p.m. Sunday until 8 a.m. Monday.

RELATED: Cleveland extends curfew ‘due to violence and unrest’

12:30 A.M. - Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Police Chief Calvin Williams host a brief press conference on Facebook live.

Mayor Jackson, Chief Williams to Make Public Address on Saturday Events

Posted by City of Cleveland - City Hall on Saturday, May 30, 2020


10:50 P.M. - Northeast Ohio scanner reports that Progressive Field and the Indians Team shop were broken into, merchandise was stolen, but the police were able to clear the stadium.

10:40 P.M. - Euclid Ave. Heinen's location announces temporary closure due to damage from the 'I can't breathe' protest. 

RELATED: Downtown Cleveland's Heinens voted as one of America's most beautiful supermarkets

9:35 p.m. - Images from 3News' Lynna Lai show Colossal Cupcakes on Euclid Ave. broken into and damaged

Credit: Lynna Lai
Credit: Lynna Lai

A photo from Akron shows apparent tear gas being dispersed:

9:24 P.M. - Cleveland residents announce #CLEanTheLand project to repair destruction in the downtown area. 

9:06 P.M. - Cleveland Fire Department releases photos of damage to firetruck downtown. 

9 P.M. - Akron police confirm tear gas was used on a crowd of approximately 100 people outside of the downtown police station. Police say some protesters were throwing rocks at officers and at the station. We’ve also learned of some arrests for vandalism along High Street.

8:50 P.M. - Social media reports 'chaos' and very little police presence in the downtown area. 

8:40 P.M. - Northeast Ohio scanner reports structure fire at Rebol restaurant in public square. 

RELATED: Several Cleveland businesses vandalized, looted during 'I Can't Breathe' rally

8:37 P.M. - ODOT closes SR 2 westbound in Willowick, and I-90 westbound at 271. 

8:20 P.M. - Businesses around Playhouse Square, including Starbucks Coffee, report smashed windows and vandalism. 

8:05 P.M. - 3News' Mark Naymik pulls up to Rise medical marijuana facility as protestors vandalize and throw bricks through the windows 

8:01 P.M. - Governor Mike Dewine announces the activation of the Ohio National Guard in Cleveland. 

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine activates Ohio National Guard in Cleveland to assist with protests

7:55 P.M. - The city of Cleveland announces an 8:00 P.M. curfew for the downtown area, and says those 'violating the order are subject to arrest.' 

7:46 P.M. - Cleveland Police tweet that officers are arresting individuals participating in the destruction of local property of businesses.

7:23 P.M. - Northeast Ohio scanner reporting a structure fire at W. 3 Street and Lakeside Ave.

7:20 P.M. -- PHOTO GALLERY of the destruction that took place during Saturday afternoon's protests outside of the Justice Center. 

6:20 P.M. — Cleveland Police are reporting protesters throwing objects at mounted units and police horses.

5:34 P.M. Tiffany Tarpley is noticing that police are employing the use of sheriff's shields in an attempt to block entry into the Justice Center. 

5:25 P.M. — Cleveland Police have confirmed to 3News that a third police cruiser is on fire outside of the Justice Center. 

5:10 P.M. — Outside of Cleveland, Governor Mike DeWine has just announced that he has activated the Ohio National Guard to assist local law enforcement in protecting citizens during these protests. 

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine activates Ohio National Guard to help local law enforcement protect citizens during George Floyd protests

4:39 P.M. — Cleveland Police have confirmed that "firefighters are responding to West 3rd Street and Lakeside Avenue for two police cars set on fire."

4:34 P.M. — Both Tiffany Tarpley and Mark Naymik are noticing smoke and fire coming from the west entrance of the Justice Center.

4:20 P.M. — Cleveland Police continue to provide updates on Twitter. "Crowds are moving throughout the downtown area. Many individuals around the Justice Center continue to be disorderly, while many individuals continue to demonstrate lawfully."

The Cleveland Police Mounted Patrol is moving its way through the crowd outside of the Justice Center, according to Tiffany Tarpley.

4:04 P.M. — Cleveland Police have tweeted the following: "Objects continue to be thrown at officers outside of Justice Center. Injuries unknown at this time. Some OC spray deployed, some of the crowd is moving from the area."

Tiffany Tarpley notes that flash bangs are now being used.

3:55 P.M. — From Cleveland Police: TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Traffic is now being shut down coming into downtown.  Please avoid downtown at this time.

Also, our Mark Naymik tweeted out the following: 

3:50 P.M. — From Cleveland Police: "Several officers reportedly struck by objects thrown, injuries unknown at this time."

Tiffany Tarpley has noted that officers have arrived on the scene in SWAT gear. Mounted police are also at the scene. 

3:40 P.M. — There have been several updates from Cleveland Police on Twitter. 

"Police have announced multiple dispersal orders to those being disorderly, throwing objects."

Also: "Road closures remain in effect downtown, Traffic Unit assisting with flow of traffic out of downtown."

3:25 P.M. — Rachel Polansky spoke to several of the demonstrators outside of the Justice Center who said they were exposed to pepper spray.

3:20 P.M. — According to tweets from Cleveland Police as well as Tiffany Tarpley, there is a group of people outside of Justice Center, some individuals throwing objects, trying to break windows.

3:07 P.M. — Protestors are marching through the streets of Cleveland and video shows inmates at the Cuyahoga County Jail banging and making noise as protestors pass by the facility. 

For the first 90 minutes or so, the demonstration in downtown Cleveland was peaceful. 

Rallies and demonstrations have erupted across the United States, with many citizens angry over what they say is the continuous racial injustices that take place in the country. 

Minneapolis is dealing with days of unrest; Floyd was killed on Monday after an officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes while Floyd repeatedly said 'I can't breathe.' 

Many major cities around the U.S. are experiencing large scale demonstrations today, including New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Philadelphia. 

Rallies are set to last several hours today here in Cleveland, as well as around the state. Earlier today, the mayor of Cincinnati announced a curfew to be instituted tonight after violent demonstrations on Saturday night. Also, Columbus Police have declared an emergency in the downtown area after a third straight day of protests. 

You can watch the rally live in the player below: 

Follow WKYC on Instagram and Twitter for the latest coverage on the 'I can't breathe' rally. 

RELATED: Columbus police declare emergency in downtown area following protests

RELATED: Cincinnati mayor announces curfew after protest violence on Friday night

RELATED: WATCH | Demonstrators gather in downtown Cleveland for 'I Can't Breathe' rally protesting death of George Floyd

RELATED: 19-year-old Detroit protester dies at hospital after being shot

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