Peaceful protest in honor of George Floyd begins to turn violent in Columbia
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — What began as a peaceful protest and demonstration to honor George Floyd has begun to turn into violence, according to ABC Columbia News Staff on scene. Columbia Police cars are being vandalized and set on fire. Multiple cars in the parking garage across from CPD headquarters have also been set on fire.
The protest began this morning at about 11 a.m., with a march to the State House. Speakers took the stage, as thousands listened. People came to show support in wanting justice for George Floyd’s death, and other unarmed African Americans who have been killed in recent weeks. The crowd sang Amazing Grace together.
Then protesters marched to the Columbia Police Headquarters, where the anger is beginning to turn into violence.
According to witnesses on social media, protesters have taken down the United States, the Columbia and the South Carolina flags from in front of the police headquarters and burned them on the lawn.
Police in riot gear are on the scene and have been present during the protest. Helicopters have also been circling the scene, and the Columbia Fire Department is standing ready.
Witnesses say rocks and water bottles are being thrown, and there’s at least one car that’s been damaged. There are also reports of police possibly firing into the air or with rubber bullets.
There is a mandatory 6 p.m. curfew in effect, with city officials telling everyone to go home now.
ABC Columbia News is on scene, and will work to bring you the latest.