Grand Rapids clean-up underway after night of fiery protests

Volunteers organize to clean up downtown Grand Rapids damaged by fires, smashed windows during protest

What started as a peaceful protest Saturday in Grand Rapids has delved into a riot, into the early morning hours of Sunday. A crowd of people moved through the Downtown area late Saturday night smashing windows, looting stores and setting vehicle fires.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Protests in Grand Rapids turned violent Saturday night amid statewide and national demonstrations calling out police brutality and racism.

Protestors moved through Grand Rapids later Saturday night and into Sunday morning, setting fires, smashing windows and looting after a day of peaceful protests.

MORE: Grand Rapids protest moves into riot; looting, fires, heavy damage reported

Police used tear gas to ward off the large crowd and eventually arrested some who refused to leave the area. Heavy damage was reported throughout Downtown Grand Rapids.

The late-night protest included the most vandalization Michigan has seen since demonstrations began around the state on Friday.

Volunteers have flocked to the city on Sunday to help clean up the damage left behind by protestors.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and many others tweeted videos and photos of volunteers cleaning up the downtown area on Sunday morning.

According to reports, a curfew has been established for the city of Grand Rapids for the next 48 hours beginning at 7 p.m. The curfew is reportedly part of a civil emergency proclamation enacted by Mayor Bliss, which enables support from the National Guard.

RELATED: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announces curfew for city as unrest continues

The protests are in response to the in-custody killing of black Minneapolis man George Floyd by a police officer on May 25. Though some protests have been peaceful, many have proven violent in cities like Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Atlanta and more.


About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.