PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - There are reports of property damage, injuries and at least two Pittsburgh Police vehicles were set ablaze Saturday afternoon during protests over the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody this past Monday.
The Mario Lemieux statue in front of PPG Paints Arena was vandalized with red spray paint with the phrase, “It is right to rebel,” with a Soviet Union sickle and hammer logo.
KDKA Photographer Ian Smith who has done work for KDKA Radio events in the past said on Twitter he was attacked by protesters downtown near the area.
According to Pittsburgh Public Safety protesters “smashed a glass business front on Smithfield Street.”
He says protesters threw the gas canisters back toward police.
There are also reports the protests started to get out of control after a while male was seen jumping up and down on another police cruiser outside of PPG Paints.
Other protesters reportedly asked him to stop.
The justice for George Floyd protest was scheduled from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon and a Facebook page said the event was to protest how they, “ want justice for George Floyd and to show solidarity with the protesters in Minneapolis fighting to end the state sponsored murder of black people."
County Council seat at-large, Bethany Hallam tells KDKA Radio people of color are fed up with the lack of action.
“Less than two years since Antwon Rose was killed by an East Pittsburgh Police officer and peaceful protesting have been done over and over again but the murder of unarmed black men keep happening locally and nationalyl.”
Related: Pittsburgh Police Chief Issues Statement On George Floyd
The page also details their plan for the day as "General chanting/speaking/marching with signs."
George Floyd was killed while in custody by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was captured on video kneeling on Floyd's neck for several minutes, while Floyd could be seen and heard begging for help because he couldn't breathe.
Chauvin has been charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter.
Stay with KDKA Radio. This is a developing story.
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