DALLAS, Texas — Nearly 100 people were arrested overnight in Dallas after peaceful protests erupted into violent riots, vandalism, and looting.
Protestors took to the streets around downtown Dallas for the second night in response to the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week. Floyd was handcuffed and face-down when Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on the back of Floyd's neck — it remained there for nearly nine minutes as Floyd became unresponsive and lifeless.
The next day, four police officers involved in the incident, including Chauvin, were placed on leave and subsequently fired. Chauvin was arrested days later and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The three other officers remain uncharged in the incident.
Dallas Police Department Chief Renee Hall joined police chiefs across the nation condemning the actions which led to Floyd's death.
"We work together to build a stronger Dallas, a stronger Texas, a stronger United States of America, but it does not happen by tearing up property and hurting people and it will not be tolerated in the city of Dallas," she tweeted Saturday night as peaceful protest became violent and police officers came under a hail of bricks.
Protestors shut down Interstate Highway 35 in the downtown area Saturday evening. Police then reported looting at a cigar shop, donut shop, and a Whole Foods. Social media posts also described damage at other area businesses including Neiman Marcus and Campisi's pizzeria.
Police reported 74 arrests of individuals on charges for inciting a riot around 10 p.m. Those arrests were made at McKinney Avenue, 27; on freeways, 10; at Elm and Ervay, 1; and at 1500 Young Street, 36.
Just before midnight, police reported 15 more arrests of individuals vandalizing buildings near Field and Woodall Rodgers. Three guns and a taser were recovered.
Earlier in the day, the North Park Mall and the Galleria were closed due to social media posts threatening looting.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated the Texas National Guard and ordered the deployment of approximately 1,500 Texas Department of Public Safety officers to the cities of Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.
“Texans have every right to exercise their first amendment rights, but violence and looting will not be tolerated,” he said.
Dallas city leaders are considering a curfew moving into Sunday.
We work together to build a stronger Dallas, a stronger Texas, a stronger United States of America, but it does not happen by tearing up property and hurting people and it will not be tolerated in the city of Dallas. @CityOfDallas @DallasPD https://t.co/3oppagfv8L— RENEÉ HALL (@ChiefHallDPD) May 31, 2020
Enough. The looting, vandalism, and violence must stop. Dallas deserves better than this.— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) May 31, 2020