George Floyd

Lightfoot Imposes Curfew in Chicago Amid Downtown Protests

The mayor applauded protesters who remained peaceful but condemned those who 'came armed'

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a curfew for the city Saturday evening as protests in the downtown area escalated with some demonstrators smashing windows of police SUVS and damaging area buildings as they marched.

The city's curfew is set to begin at 9 p.m. and continue until 6 a.m. "until further notice," the mayor said, applauding protesters who remained peaceful but condemning those who "came armed."

"To be clear, I've marched in a few protests in my day, but neither I nor anyone that I was with saw the need to bring weapons in order to lift up our voice and express our First Amendment rights," Lightfoot said.

Scenes From Chicago Saturday Protests Following the Death of George Floyd

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Chicago Saturday, and city officials pleaded with participants to keep marches peaceful after more than 100 were arrested Friday night. The protests called for reform following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis earlier this week.

As a result of the protests Saturday evening, Lake Shore Drive was shut down at around 5:30 p.m., according to the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication.

CTA suspended bus and train service on multiple lines as protests continued to escalate around 7:30 p.m.

Video captured by an NBC 5 photographer Saturday afternoon showed protesters smashing the windows of a police SUV at demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The mayor said she wanted to "call out" those who came to the demonstrations armed with bottles of urine to throw at police, baseball bats, hammers, bowling balls and more.

Elsewhere in the city, there were reports of graffiti on the exterior walls of businesses in the Loop, and protesters damaged several Chicago police squad cars.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown, who was out on the streets with city officers Saturday, said that while Floyd "did not deserve the treatment he received," those destroying property "are not representing the Floyd family in the right way."

"We will be taking you into custody when you destroy property...when you burn cars, when you break out windows," he said, noting that police officers will be actively enforcing the new curfew Saturday evening.

Lightfoot said the while the vast majority of protesters remained peaceful Saturday, others came "prepared for a fight."

"They came to stir up a mess and create havoc and we're not having it in our city," she said.

Brown applauded the officers at the scene of the protests.

"Molotov cocktails, gas have been thrown at them," Brown said. "People have punched and hit, broken officers bones and yet our police officers stood there, professional and made Chicago proud."

The Chicago protests are one of dozens around the country on what is being called a national day of protest over Floyd’s death. In Minneapolis, protests have raged for several days, with fires, looting and violence leading to Gov. Tim Walz to mobilize the state’s entire National Guard for the first time since World War II.

Protesters and police clashed in other cities as well, including in New York, Phoenix and Houston.

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