What was supposed to be peaceful George Floyd protests turned into anything but both Friday and Saturday in Omaha Nebraska.
Metro News Now was present at the protests both Friday and Saturday. Both days were filled with the protesters message being drowned out by large groups of people inciting violence and committing crimes.
Friday and Saturday seen protesters effecting traffic, using large amounts of city resources, attacking police with bottles and rocks, damaging businesses, damaging residential properties, not honoring private property rights, spray painting buildings and signs, breaking windows at several locations, a shooting in downtown Omaha and more.
Friday night lead to over 20 arrests and 2 police officers injured. Saturday seen more arrests of protestors that were assaulting police officers with rocks and bottles.
The 1st Amendment right to assemble and peacefully protest is a constitutional right however, when the protests turn non peaceful, they can be shutdown. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer made a public statement as did the Mayor of Omaha Jean Stothert.
Schmaderer said during a Press interview:
He'd like to thank the ones that were peaceful but unfortunately there were agitators that were making it unsafe to continue the protest. From a law enforcement standpoint and as Chief of Police he couldn't let the community be put in peril or his police officers and at that time he needed to declare this an unlawful assembly.
For two nights now, protestors have misused their right to lawfully assemble, risking the safety of other citizens and police officers.
It is time to stop inciting violence.
The Omaha Police Department is taking the necessary steps to protect everyone involved. I support the actions of Chief Schmaderer. Those who break the law will be arrested and held accountable.
Metro News Now spoke with protesters who also stated they wanted Police to treat their community with respect, dignity and stop the violence.
Metro News Now asked many police officers on scene if they were treated with respect and dignity from the protesters. Metro News Now heard many comments to OPD and NSP, foul names, threats and more. During the two days Metro News Now was present, there were no positive comments made to the police we seen. Metro News Now can also state the police on scene from OPD and Nebraska State Patrol were very respectful to the public. Police from both divisions helped protesters cross streets, guided them to areas and helped with a plethora of issues and situations.
George Floyd's death occurred in Powderhorn, a neighborhood south of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd's death has sparked protests across the United States and most protests have turned violent.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is also investigating possible violations of Minnesota statutes. On May 29, Officer Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd's death, with Hennepin County attorney Michael O. Freeman saying he anticipated charges to be brought against the other three officers at the scene of Floyd's death.
A preliminary autopsy found no indication that Floyd died of strangulation or traumatic asphyxia, but that the combined effects of being restrained, underlying health conditions, including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease, and potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death. Attorneys for Floyd's family announced that they have requested an independent autopsy.