What to Know
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard late Sunday afternoon in response to the weekend's protests
- Officials in both counties did not give an exact date when curfew restrictions would be lifted
- A total of 28 people were arrested Sunday night in downtown Miami, according to Miami-Dade Police
Cleanup was underway Monday after another round of protests was held around South Florida on Sunday, capping a weekend of demonstrations over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd.
Streets across South Florida were mostly quiet in Sunday's overnight hours amid a curfew in place following violent confrontations between police officers and demonstrators
Shattered shop windows and destroyed police cars in parts of South Florida signaled the aftermath of a tumultuous night of protests early Sunday morning, while peaceful protests in the early evening hours turned chaotic as the hours came closer to a 9 p.m. curfew in both Broward and Miami-Dade counties that didn't expire until 6 a.m. Monday morning.
More on the Weekend Protests
Officials in both counties did not give an exact date when curfew restrictions would be lifted. Later Monday, the City of Miami announced that their curfew was lifted, though the county's curfew remains in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard late Sunday afternoon in response to the weekend's protests, the governor's spokesperson said on Twitter. Officials said there were 150 guardsmen in Miramar who will be used to support law enforcement with another 100 guardsmen in Tampa and 150 in Camp Blanding.
Hundreds gathered outside the AmericanAirlines Arena Sunday before marching down to the federal corrections facility. Protestors cheered on inmates - who could be heard banging on their windows - before taking a seat in front of the facility.
The group eventually made their way to I-95, where all westbound lanes were blocked by the protestors. Police eventually closed the MacArthur Causeway in both westbound and eastbound directions.
In the evening, crowds began to disperse, before a group was seen smashing windows at a CVS near Biscayne Boulevard.
In Fort Lauderdale, a peaceful protest began at Huzienga Park before tensions escalated. Police began firing tear gas into the crowd, while protestors were also seen throwing objects at authorities.
The chaos carried over to Las Olas Boulevard where windows at several businesses were smashed by demonstrators.
“I worked for two months every day to reposition ourselves so that we could open in a new dynamic and for this to happen, it’s disturbing," said Rodney Ely, a business owner who saw his Fort Lauderdale restaurant damaged.
The turmoil caused Fort Lauderdale officials to issue a state of emergency and a 9 p.m. curfew for the city that would be in effect for the next three days.
“It’s horrifically scary because you’re facing a crowd of you know 30 people who are not looking out for your best interest by any means at that time," Ely said. "They’re worked up, they’re emotional and you don’t know what they’re gonna do to you."
Another restaurant owner said his business was already suffering due to the pandemic and that the violence added insult to injury.
“To come out of that and have this is devastating,” said Chuck Bergwin, the owner of TacoCraft. “It’s absolutely devastating."
Bergwin supports the protests, but believes the vandalism defeats the purpose.
“This country is due for some change, it needs change and this is how we get there by protest, but not when you resort to violence,” Bergwin said. “When you resort to violence and damaging property it diminishes the protest.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said the chain of events that caused the face-off between police and protestors was instigated by "agitators" uninvolved with the original protest.
"They knew something was gonna happen. They knew it cause they were going to provoke it," Trantalis said.
However, video has circulated of a Fort Lauderdale officer shoving a protestor moments before tensions escalated.
In the video, the officer is seen yelling and approaching protestors, ordering them to stay away from officers. The demonstrators then surround the officer and kneel with their hands up, before the officer shoves a kneeling woman to the ground.
Trantalis said the officer in the video was suspended, and a full investigation will be conducted.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that beaches in the county would not reopen as planned Sunday, adding the delay would continue until the curfew was lifted. Other cities, including Miami Beach and Key Biscayne, announced their reopenings would be delayed as well.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina held a press conference Sunday with community leaders to address the first night's chaos.
"If you see someone breaking the law, separate yourself from that person," Colina said. "Because if you don't, you are culpable."
After protesters hurled rocks and bottles at officers and set squad cars on fire outside Miami Police headquarters Saturday night, transit officials said that all Miami-Dade public transit was being suspended on Sunday, including buses and light rail. At one point Saturday night, Interstate 95 was shut down in both directions as a group of protesters stood on the busy roadway. Videos on social media showed dozens of people breaking into stores at Bayside Marketplace, a popular outdoor shopping center in downtown Miami.
At a news conference Monday, Suarez said Bayside Marketplace was open for business.
"We did much better than most major cities across the country," Suarez said.
Meanwhile, officials from Aventura Mall said Monday that the mall would be closing as a precautionary measure. Officials didn't say when it would reopen.
A total of 28 people were arrested Sunday night in downtown Miami, according to Miami-Dade Police. Colina added that of the 57 people that were arrested Saturday night, 13 were Miami residents. The others, he said, came from Minnesota, New York and Georgia.
However, Miami-Dade Corrections officials confirmed 30 of the 57 people arrested were from Miami-Dade County. Another 11 lived within Broward and Palm Beach County.