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KC Mayor urges peaceful demonstrations after Saturday’s unrest

Plaza cleanup.jpg
Posted at 10:08 AM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 12:12:16-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a peaceful protest turned violent Saturday night in Kansas City, Missouri, the mayor called for protesters to peacefully share their message Sunday.

A new protest is expected to take place Sunday afternoon on the Country Club Plaza, the same location where police said at least 50 people were arrested, 10 were injured and businesses bore the brunt of property destruction.

Appearing on 41 Action News Sunday morning, Mayor Quinton Lucas was asked what is being done to make sure Sunday’s protest is not a repeat of Saturday night.

He said it is really on the protesters to make sure they get their message heard in the right way.

“If you really care about George Floyd’s life and his tragic death, if you really care about the many names of black men and women that we have seen die by police throughout our country, come and demonstrate peacefully, come and make sure your message can be seen so that Monday morning we are talking about your message, not broken glass, or riots or destruction,” Lucas said.

The Mayor said other law enforcement agencies will be coming to assist Kansas City police during the protest Sunday, but did not give any specifics on those plans.

Off and on throughout the evening Saturday, police said rocks and bottles were thrown at officers lining the streets. Tear gas and pepper spray were utilized by police. Some protesters said last night they were sprayed without any provocation.

Lucas said he believes police officers handled the protest well but there will likely be events that occurred that will need to be reviewed.

“They did one hell of a job, the rank and file officer standing on the street for hours, facing hundreds of people, not making the call on tear gas, or what to deploy or what type of weapons to bring,” he said.

The names and hometowns of those arrested have not been made public yet.

Mayor Lucas said “a lot” of those in custody are from the Kansas and Western Missouri region; however, there are a few that came here with the intent to create chaos.

“There are some from ‘organized associations' that do this sort of thing, that try to stoke chaos throughout our country, and that’s frustrating to me. And I think that what we'll try to see today, that we will hope for today is that we will avoid that," he said.

Businesses are cleaning up the damage on the Country Club Plaza Sunday morning and streets remain closed. There are no damage estimates yet.