GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – 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. Glass windows were shattered at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Related: Detroit police declare unlawful assembly on 2nd night of protests over killing of George Floyd
Police used tear gas to ward off the large crowd, and eventually arresting some who refused to leave the area. Heavy damage was reported throughout Downtown Grand Rapids.
West Michigan Congressman Justin Amash said, “Let’s not conflate the protesters in Grand Rapids with the rioters in Grand Rapids. These are different groups with different agendas—one righteous and the other perverse.”
As of Sunday morning, many gathered to start cleaning up the mess left behind. Grand Rapids officials are asking people not to gather in large groups.
“We appreciate everyone’s support to help clean up our city early this morning. We’ve made remarkable progress. While we appreciate those who are interested in joining organized volunteer clean-ups today, we respectfully ask that individuals not gather in large groups downtown,” the city tweeted.
More: Latest news here from WOOD TV.
This is video of 5 cars on fire in downtown Grand Rapids right now. pic.twitter.com/oxqsGQClvL— alexaskonieski (@AlexaSkonieski) May 31, 2020
Downtown Grand Rapids: police cars on fire, smashed-in windows of businesses that have been looted. We're continuing to bring you the latest updates on what is happening - On WOOD TV8 and https://t.co/XCYQDDEUuA. pic.twitter.com/9XZTH5zlNQ— WOOD TV8 (@WOODTV) May 31, 2020
Video of police cruisers in downtown GR being smashed and torched by rioters. pic.twitter.com/tdYJVpaUFf— Casey Jones (@CaseyJ_WOODTV) May 31, 2020
People are using street signs to break through the glass, looting everything in sight downtown Grand Rapids. People seen here taking a TV away from a window display. @WOODTV pic.twitter.com/KM1GpOFpIP— Justin Kollar (@kollarjustin) May 31, 2020