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Protests in Omaha: Arrests, tear gas, fireworks in downtown Sunday after 8 p.m. curfew

(WOWT)
Published: May. 31, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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Law enforcement deployed tear gas just before 9:30 p.m. Sunday as fireworks went off in downtown Omaha.

At 8:45 p.m. law enforcement moved forward and most of the protesters were seen leaving the area. Some arrests were made but no tear gas was seen deployed.

WARNING: Some videos paired with this article, which includes livestream coverage, contain explicit language.

Fireworks were seen exploding on the ground near officers at that time.

Omaha Police Deputy Chief Gregory Gonzalez tweeted photos of a gun with a message that "Illegal firearms in the downtown area are not invited to a peaceful protest." [

]

Tense moments as curfew passes

Law enforcement gave several verbal warnings to the group — much smaller than the gathering there a few hours before — at about 8:40 p.m., telling them the assembly was unlawful giving them minutes to disperse. Those who didn't heed the warning were subject to police action, an officer on a loudspeaker told the crowd.

The warning over the loudspeaker also included media, who are

.

Omaha Police, Nebraska State Patrol, and Nebraska National Guard — wearing gas masks — lined up near 12th and Harney Streets ahead of the curfew. Protesters remained at the scene, some kneeling while holding signs.

Protesters in downtown Omaha began lying on the ground, then sitting and linking arms in front of a row of police officers as the 8 p.m. curfew approached.

"Ten minutes! Ten minutes!" one of the protesters shouted at about 7:50 p.m.

Protesters continued shouting "Hands up! Don't shoot!" as alerts sounded on cell phones.

"We're not afraid of you. You shouldn't be afraid of us," a protester shouted into a speaker just after 8:20 p.m. Minutes later, alarms sounded on cell phones all around the protest line.

Omaha Police had parts of downtown blocked off since about 5 p.m.

Protests & gatherings around the Omaha-metro

Sunday afternoon, protesters circled the block in the Old Market near The Hive, where

. It was one of a few locations in the downtown area, with some linking hands in prayer and others holding signs at nearby intersections and cheering at honking cars driving by.

at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation near Evans and 36th streets.

About 3 p.m. Sunday at 72nd and Dodge streets, about 100 people gathered for a prayer vigil planned by St. Mark's Baptist Church at 72nd and Dodge streets, dispersing about an hour later.

on the third day of protests in Omaha.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly sourced a quote to a police officer. 6 News regrets the error.
LIVE: Protesters remain in downtown Omaha

Some were still walking around downtown Omaha on Sunday night well past the 8 p.m. curfew. Continuing coverage: https://www.wowt.com/content/news/George-Floyd-protests-in-Omaha-Sunday-May-31-2020-570907961.html

Posted by WOWT 6 News on Sunday, May 31, 2020
LIVE: Protests in Omaha

Continuing coverage: https://www.wowt.com/content/news/George-Floyd-protests-in-Omaha-Sunday-May-31-2020-570907961.html

Posted by WOWT 6 News on Sunday, May 31, 2020
LIVE: Protest at The Hive

Posted by WOWT 6 News on Sunday, May 31, 2020

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