KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Protests in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday night went from mostly peaceful to a considerably different tone Saturday night with people throwing rocks at police officers and into businesses and setting a police vehicle on fire.
The protests are in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police. On Friday, former Officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, was charged in his murder.
Protests initially broke out in Minneapolis after Floyd’s death but have since spread across the nation in the days since.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas spoke with FOX4 Sunday and said he had hoped earlier in the day Saturday that the city would have a peaceful protest.
“My hope was folks would share and important and impactful message about not having George Floyd’s life and death be in vain,” Lucas said. “That we use it for changing our country. Changing our interaction with our police departments and our black community and I just regret we didn’t have a chance to see that yesterday.”
Lucas said most of the people at the Country Club Plaza on Saturday night were not there to cause violence.
“This is was a few dozen people surrounded by crowds that wanted to cause chaos in our city,” Lucas said. “This isn’t about trying to find justice, this isn’t about the police not allowing people who are angry about the George Floyd situation from being able to share what they wanted. This was instead about some folks who after repeated instructions decided it’s more fun to smash windows at a Nike store or a restaurant that has been shuttered for two months that’s just trying to get back to work. They thought it was more important to do that than share the message of how black men live safely and freely here and not fear harm from both the community and police. Nobody is talking about that this morning.”