LAS VEGAS (AP) — Authorities in Las Vegas used tear gas and rubber bullets late Sunday to disperse protesters and end a fourth night of protests of the death of a Minnesota man in police custody. Earlier Gov. Steve Sisolak and others condemned what Reno’s mayor called rioting that damaged buildings including city hall.
Police in the state’s two largest cities reported more than 200 arrests during weekend demonstrations that began peacefully but turned violent after dark, leading to tear gas, the activation of the National Guard and imposition of overnight curfews Saturday and Sunday in Reno. The curfew ended early Monday.
“This destruction does not do anything for the memory of Mr. Floyd. Nothing,” the Democratic governor said Sunday in Reno, invoking the name of the Minnesota man.
Behind Sisolak, volunteers swept up broken glass and painted to cover graffiti on walls while officials blamed violence on those Sisolak termed “a small subset of bad actors” from other states. A similar spontaneous clean-up occurred in Las Vegas.
“If you’re a bad actor and you came to cause a problem in the state of Nevada, get the hell out of town,” the governor declared.
Washoe County sheriff’s officials and Reno city police reported more than 20 arrests late Saturday, and paramedics reported several minor injuries. Downtown streets remained calm Sunday.
In Las Vegas, SWAT units were deployed late Sunday and police in riot gear fired non-lethal projectiles at protesters fleeing clouds of stinging pepper gas.
The scene ended a night of protests ignited by video of Floyd, a black man, pleading that he couldn’t breathe before he stopped moving with a white police officer pressing his knee into his neck for several minutes.
Marches in Las Vegas came amid demonstrations in dozens of other cities around the country.
A demonstration Sunday near a shopping and entertainment center in suburban Las Vegas ended peacefully about the same time a wave of helmeted police officers advanced to clear people from the south end of the resort-lined Las Vegas Strip.
During one pause in the advance, several officers took a knee on Las Vegas Boulevard — drawing cheers from protesters, including some who also knelt.
Some demonstrators later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal they were struck by rubber bullets, and the newspaper reported that at least three journalists also were hit by non-lethal rounds. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
Late Saturday, police said a downtown protest swelled to more than 1,500 people marching through the city’s business district before being met by nearly 300 police officers.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!