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Confrontation at Arizona State Capitol between officers, protesters

(KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX — Protesters marching through downtown Phoenix on Thursday over the death of George Floyd smashed windows with rocks and bottles at the Arizona State Capitol and police headquarters.

Hundreds of demonstrators reached the Capitol around 9:30 p.m., authorities said, breaking windows. They also tried to get inside, authorities said.

A smaller group of protesters then moved to the police building, throwing rocks and bottles at the windows and smashing the glass of the front door.

They were met by Department of Public Safety troopers in riot gear, who deployed tear gas and rubber bullets.

Phoenix police said Friday that eight arrests were made over the course of the night. Most were for unlawful assembly, and a driver was cited for civil traffic violations.

One demonstrator was treated for unspecified precautionary reasons at a hospital and released. Two officers were treated and released for heat-related complications.

Authorities said five marked Phoenix Police vehicles were damaged.

The protesters began their march around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It was one of multiple demonstrations around the country against the May 25 death of Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a police officer had restrained the handcuffed man by putting a knee to his neck.

Floyd told officers he couldn’t breathe.

Protests were also held Thursday in Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Memphis, among other U.S. cities. There have been three nights of chaos protesting Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

Derek Chauvin, the officer seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, was arrested Friday. He and three other officers involved were fired earlier this week.

Around 10:15 p.m. Thursday, protesters smashed the rear windshield of a Phoenix police cruiser, according to ABC15 reporter Zach Crenshaw.

At 9:34 p.m., DPS troopers and police officers arrived at the scene in riot gear, Crenshaw said.

Around 9:55, the Phoenix Police Department announced the area between 15th and 17th avenues and Jefferson and Washington streets had been closed.

The department also advised protesters to leave the area.

Before reaching the capitol building, the five-way intersection of at Seventh Avenue and Van Buren Street was shut down around 8:10 p.m. due to the demonstrations, according to Crenshaw.

Phoenix police officers were on the scene helping to block traffic.

Around the time the protesters had reached the capitol building, Crenshaw reported objects had been thrown at DPS troopers.

Valley demonstrators ignored the requests of community action officers to turn around on Washington Street, according to Crenshaw.

Demonstrators then continued to make their way down Van Buren Street and passed Third Avenue.

The protesters were reported to be congregating at First Avenue and Van Buren Street around 8:30 p.m.

Workers were cleaning up early Friday.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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