George Floyd

National Guard Activated Amid Second Day of South Florida Protests

Miami-Dade issued a 9 p.m. nightly curfew for the county until further notice, while Fort Lauderdale's 9 p.m. curfew has been issued for the next three days.

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What to Know

  • Broward County declared a state of emergency after tensions escalated between protestors and police Sunday night
  • A total of 57 people were arrested Saturday night, according to Miami-Dade Police
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has activated the National Guard to support local law enforcement

On Sunday morning, shattered shop windows and destroyed police cars in parts of South Florida signaled the aftermath of a tumultuous night of protests, as hundreds took to the streets Saturday night to express their frustration with the police killing of George Floyd.

While some protests remained peaceful and even hosted dialogue between police chiefs and civilians, other parts of the city were subject to looting and destruction.

By the end of the night, a total of 57 individuals had been arrested in connection to the demonstrations, police confirmed Sunday. Officials said the most common charge was curfew violation.

On Sunday afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the National Guard in response to the weekend's protests, according to the governor's spokesperson on Twitter.

Officials say there are 150 guardsmen in Miramar who will be used to support law enforcement. There are also 100 guardsmen in Tampa and 150 in Camp Blanding.

Earlier in the day, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina held a press conference with community leaders to address Saturday night's chaos.

Both men spoke in support of the peaceful protests, but condemned any vandalism or looting.

"If you see someone breaking the law, separate yourself from that person," Colina said. "Because if you don't, you are culpable."

Colina added that, of the 57 people that were arrested last night, 13 were Miami residents. The others, he says, 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 eleven lived within Broward and Palm Beach County.

Another protest took place Sunday. Hundreds gathered outside the AmericanAirlines Arena 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.

Later in the day, Coral Gables issued a state of emergency and a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. until further notice.

Transit services including the Metrorail, Metromover, Metrobus and Go Nightly program were suspended in anticipation for Sunday's protest. Police also closed down parts of Bayside Marketplace, where cell video obtained by NBC 6 showed people looting some stores inside the Downtown Miami mall Saturday night.

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.

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.

Moments later, Broward County Mayor Dale Holness issued the same state of emergency and a countywide curfew of 9 p.m.

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.

What began as a peaceful protest in Fort Lauderdale Sunday afternoon, slowly morphed into a tense face off between police and demonstrators, causing Broward County to issue a state of emergency.

“I don’t agree with the looting and all of that but I believe that the protests are very much needed at this time and that this is just an outrage of people saying that these things keep happening time and time again," one protester in Downtown Miami told NBC 6 Saturday.

"I just feel like there needs to be more accountability.”

Another protester said she was not concerned about the looting in light of Floyd's death. “We can replace money but you can’t replace that life," she said. "That life is gone, it’s stupid.”

Saturday night's protests left damage in parts of the city, while others remained peaceful. More protests are scheduled to take place starting on Sunday afternoon.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a 9 p.m. - 6 a.m. nightly curfew for the county until further notice. Additionally, the City of Miami implemented an 8 p.m. curfew for Sunday. Any person defying the curfews will be subject to arrest, according to city officials.

"People have a right to be frustrated. We share their frustration," Gimenez said in a video message Saturday evening. "We think the right way to do this is a peaceful protest to create change to bring justice to Mr. Floyd and his family."

Floyd died shortly after a police officer, 44-year-old Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

Saturday's protests included one that began with a march at the Torch of Friendship in Downtown Miami and proceeded down a busy I-95, shutting down the expressway in both directions.

In Coral Gables, another protest took place on Miracle Mile, where police chiefs from Miami-Dade knelt in prayer with protesters and agreed to have a video call with event organizers some time next week to continue to discuss the community's concerns.

"This was a good first step in the right direction. It was a touching moment," a spokesman for Miami-Dade police said.

Provided by the Miami-Dade Police Department

Cities all across the country have been thrown into disarray by nationwide protests, as years of festering frustrations over the mistreatment of Black people at the hands of police boiled over in expressions of rage met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

“We are here to give justice to black people give justice to George Floyd because we can’t do this anymore," another Downtown Miami protester said.

"This is exhausting.”

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