Miami Police said two officers were treated and released for minor injuries and three people were arrested after a series of May 1st protests led by Occupy Miami.
The group told NBC 6 it set out to follow the lead of nations around the world in observing the May 1st labor holiday, established to pay tribute to the sacrifices of common workers.
Around 3 p.m., a march near SE 2nd Avenue and SE 4th Street took a violent turn, with demonstrators and Miami Police clashing in the streets. Several demonstrators caught the event on their cell phone cameras.
Police said that they arrested Rolando Prieto, 23, of Miami at that location for inciting a riot and obstructing a public right of way. He blocked a police car in the street and repeatedly did not comply with an officer’s orders that he move, saying, “I’m not moving from the road, I’m a taxpayer,” police said in an arrest report.
As he was being arrested, Prieto began to yell and called for the crowd to protest in the road, police added.
Police also said they arrested protester Brian Tangherlin, 22, of Miami for obstructing a public right of way and resisting arrest with violence. He stepped into the street and blocked traffic after police told him several times not to while they were making an arrest, pulled away from police when they tried to take him into custody, and resisted violently during a brief struggle on the ground in which he struck an officer’s rib with his knee, according to police.
Just after 6 p.m., another demonstrator was arrested in the parking lot across the street from Bayfront Park, where Occupy protests had been going on for hours. There police broke up Occupy crowds and arrested Alfredo Quintana, 24, who resisted before an officer shoved his head into a cruiser. He was taken into custody for an earlier skirmish, police said.
Miami Police spokeswoman Officer Kenia Reyes said Quintana "had punched an earlier officer on the first scene, and also battered him as well."
He faces of charges of resisting arrest and three counts of battery, police said.
Fellow Occupiers said he was the victim.
"A scuffle broke out, and one of the cops managed to bring his arm back, and he cocked him back and a threw a punch in his face for absolutely no reason," demonstrator Johnathan Grand said.
Occupiers ended the day outside the Miami-Dade County Jail awaiting the release of the three arrestees.
Occupy Miami said in a statement Tuesday night that "Miami Police escalated what was a peaceful protest by pulling three individuals out of the crowd of 100 in front of the Wells Fargo and beating them with fists and batons."
The group pledged to remain peaceful and said it hopes the police do as well.