ORLANDO, Fla. — Thousands of people gathered on the steps of Orlando City Hall to protest the brutal death of George Floyd and call for societal and systemic change in the way African Americans are treated.
What You Need To Know
- Peaceful protest march closes downtown Orlando streets
- Civic leaders called for cultural change, voter to turn out in November
- RELATED: Minnesota Files Civil Rights Charge Against Police in George Floyd Death
Protesters were peaceful, chanting Floyd's name after civic leaders delivered speeches demanding justice. Police officers observed quietly.
Black Democratic caucus members also addressed the crowd, urging people to vote.
From city hall, the protesters then marched north on Garland Avenue and then turned west on Central Boulevard, walking toward Exploria Stadium.
Orlando Police shut down roads across downtown to allow the march to take place.
"Orlando Police is committed to supporting the rights of citizens to peacefully demonstrate, while protecting residents and businesses," the department said on Twitter.
At one point, tensions flared as some officers and protesters came face-to-face with each other on South Street, with officers at one point putting on their gas masks. But after about an hour and a half, the situatiion deescalated.
Despite a 10 p.m. curfew enacted by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, many protesters remained downtown. Orlando Police warned people they could be arrested if they remain outside past the curfew. Officers deployed tear gas to disperse crowds after 10 p.m.
On Monday, law enforcement officers marched alongside hundreds of protesters in downtown Kissimmee.