Protests Turn Into Vandalism in Downtown Columbus


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Protests in downtown Columbus last night, over the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, turned violent, leading to windows and doors smashed at buildings, including the Ohio Statehouse.

It started with a peaceful protest around 7PM, with marchers chanting, "Black Lives Matter," and other noteworthy chants. The crowd gathered at the intersection of Broad and High Streets.

Around 11PM Thursday, Columbus Police officers asked the crowd numerous times to disperse, which did not work. Sergeant James Fuqua tells 610-WTVN's Joel Riley that officers began utilizing agents like pepper spray when the crowd began causing destruction.

TV crews downtown caught numerous people smashing the west-facing door and windows of the Ohio Statehouse, and some were able to make it inside. Windows were also smashed at the CAPA Box Office and the Ohio Theatre.

Windows were also reported smashed at business along North and South high Street, and along 3rd and 4th Streets. Windows were also smashed at COTA bus stops and trash cans were overturned.

Business owners are busy today replacing the broken glass with wood boards until they can be permanently replaced.

Sgt. Fuqua says several arrests were made, and no shots were fired.

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