KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thirty minutes after Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas praised Kansas City for a somewhat peaceful third day of protesting, police and protesters clashed just after curfew Sunday night at the Country Club Plaza.
“I’m proud of these protesters, I’m proud of my police officers and I’m proud of Kansas City,” Lucas said.
Lucas issued an 8 p.m. curfew for the Plaza, Westport, downtown and all city parks. Police initially said anyone who violated the curfew could be subject to arrest.
But during an 8 p.m. press conference, the mayor and Kansas City Police Capt. David Jackson said if protesters remained peaceful, as they had for most of the day, they wouldn’t remove anyone right away.
“If things stay peaceful, I don’t think we’ll have any problems,” Lucas said.
“We would take this all night long,” Jackson said of the peaceful marching and chanting.
Hear more of their comments in the video player above.
But not even an hour later, some protesters threw water bottles at police, and officers donned their gas masks.
At about 8:30 p.m., just 30 minutes after curfew took effect, Kansas City police deployed tear gas at the Plaza.
Police then declared Sunday night’s protest an unlawful assembly and ordered everyone to leave.
Hundreds of protesters have not left the area, as of 8:50 p.m. Many continue to march through the streets.
Jackson estimated that at the beginning of Sunday’s protest there were roughly 2,000 people in attendance. While the crowd has dwindled since then, he still believes there were hundreds at the Plaza as of 8 p.m.