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

Serious damage reported in Downtown Grand Rapids

Several broken windows at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. (May 31, 2020) (WOODTV)

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.

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About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.