LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Saturday, hundreds of protestors gathered in downtown Little Rock calling for justice and change after the death of George Floyd. For hours the demonstrations remained peaceful but things took a turn after 10 p.m. Sunday morning city leaders addressed the community calling for unity.
Mayor Frank Scott Jr. started Sunday morning with his head bowed in prayer for the city of Little Rock. It comes after hundreds of protestors marched through downtown demanding justice in the name of George Floyd.
“We have to understand that we have people and a city and a land that is experiencing hurt, heartache and pain,” Scott said.
Throughout the day, Scott says he was encouraged to see this call for change, done with out damage or harm.
“I’m proud of the young men and women who organized a peaceful protest,” Scott said.
As these protests continued into the night, police started to see a shift.
“Unfortunately you do have those citizens that take that for granted,” Little Rock Police Chief Keith Humphrey said.
Humphrey said late Saturday, the Capitol and other businesses were vandalized and officers were attacked.
“There were some items thrown at the officers. There were even attempts to pull the officers shields that were guarding the Capitol,” Chief Humphrey said.
Seeing it firsthand, Humphrey doesn’t believe it was people from this community that caused the destruction.
“There’s nothing that makes me believe that the citizens of this city would destroy their property or bring any kind of connotation to this city,” Chief Humphrey said.
Now, as cleanup begins, city leaders are thankful.
“There was not major damage, major injury and many were able to go home unscathed,” Scott said.
Mayor Scott says he wants the protestors to know their message did not go unheard.
“We understand the pain. We understand the voices,” Scott said.
LRPD says there were no arrests made for damages done to the Capitol or businesses near it. Police say they encourage freedom of speech but urge protestors to keep it peaceful.