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Violent night in Rockford ends after police fire tear gas in to crowds

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#BREAKING - LIVE COVERAGE: Protesters and police clash when rally for George Floyd turn violent, chaotic

Posted by WREX-TV on Saturday, May 30, 2020

ROCKFORD (WREX) — A peaceful rally boiled over in to chaotic and violent protests on Saturday in Rockford. By about 11 p.m., the protests had ended after Rockford Police fired tear gas in to a crowd of hundreds of people.

Thousands of people gathered peacefully Saturday afternoon to rally for George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis. The overwhelming majority of protesters were civil and peaceful.

"I don't think any of these protests across the country are meant to be violent. I think it's people just like here expressing their pain, but what is happening is that pain is being oppressed more is causing the riots and that's what I think we need to keep in mind."

But protests did turn violent shortly after a march reached Rockford Police District 1 headquarters. Hundreds of people were there, with some throwing rocks and water bottles at the windows of the police station, destroying signage out in the yard, and shouting expletives directed at police.

Several people were taken in to custody on the night, and numerous scuffles with police were observed by 13 WREX reporters.

As tensions rose, Rockford Police deployed a SWAT unit in an effort to keep protesters at bay. Bean bag weapons were used, and toward the end of the night tear gas was deployed.

Shortly after that, crowds dispersed outside of the headquarters.

Audrey Moon

Audrey is the news director at 13 WREX. She’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and joined the team at 13 WREX in 2014.

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