A demonstrator who attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Downtown Miami Saturday night is claiming he was injured when police fired rubber bullets into the crowd during a brief face off on Interstate 95.
Jonathan Gatrelle was just one of many protesters who were marching on the busy interstate that night. Police began firing into the crowd when the group would not get off the highway – creating a long line of cars.
“Some of us have experienced so much police brutality – so much anger that they wanted to make a longer stand to get the police officers to back down and instead of backing down they began to tear gas people,” Gatrelle says.
His body was filled with welts and bruises from the incident, evidence police used rubber bullets he says.
However, Miami Police say tears gas fired, not rubber bullets.
In a statement, the police department said:
“…a group of protesters ran through a construction site through I-395 and armed themselves with debris. Objects such as rocks & bottles were thrown at police officers, at which point in time dispersal orders were given and refused. As a result, officers were forced to deploy an irritant.”
Florida Highway Patrol was also on scene when police fired at protesters, but claimed no rubber bullets were fired by them as well.