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George Floyd rally: 137 arrests, 8 officers injured during Houston protest, HPD says

A few businesses were vandalized and eight HPD patrol units were damaged during the protest.

HOUSTON — All is calm after a nearly 11-hour rally in downtown Houston where protesters took the streets to demand justice for George Floyd. The Houston native died in Minneapolis when a police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes. 

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said 137 people were arrested during the rally, mostly for obstructing a roadway. Other charges included assault on a police officer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. 

Eight officers were injured during the protest, 16 police vehicles were damaged and some businesses were vandalized.

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Below is a timeline of events from the George Floyd protests in Houston:

MAY 30 9:41 A.M. —  Jack Yates High School Alumni holds a vigil and walk in honor of George Floyd who graduated from the school in 1993. 

*Live video above or you can watch via our Facebook page*

MAY 30 3:57 A.M. — Chief Art Acevedo tweets "done for the night" in response to the George Floyd rally. 

MAY 30 3:15 A.M.  Houston police said nearly 200 people were arrested during the George Floyd rally. The department said many of the people arrested will be charged with obstructing a roadway.  On Saturday, Chief Acevedo corrected the total, saying 137 were arrested.

MAY 30 12:20 A.M. — Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and HPD officers are advising people downtown blocking a street or business to leave or be subject to arrest.

MAY 29 10:52 P.M. — Protesters remained downtown Friday night as law enforcement officers blocked off some entrances into downtown. KHOU 11's Chris Costa said protests where he was at Texas and Fannin remained peaceful.

Demonstrations in downtown Houston

This is live video from downtown Houston. Reporter Chris Costa is following the demonstrations in downtown Houston that at times today have become violent. This is a live feed. There may be profanities in the video. Latest headlines: https://bit.ly/36H8HqW

Posted by KHOU 11 News on Friday, May 29, 2020

MAY 29 9:52 P.M. — All highway and street access into and out of downtown Houston is closed after protests turned violent. City officials are asking people to avoid traveling near the area throughout the night.

MAY 29 9:39 P.M. — Police are staged downtown where George Floyd protesters remain after Friday afternoon's rally.

MAY 29 9:29 P.M. —  There were reports of some damage to businesses downtown, including broken glass at Zuto's, a restaurant.

Earlier, dozens of protesters blocked parts of I-45, Hwy 59 and some downtown streets during rush hour. 

The rally itself was mostly peaceful with only a handful of arrests.

Acevedo said about a dozen people total had been taken into custody by Friday evening.

Hundreds marched from Discovery Green to Houston City Hall Friday afternoon in memory of  Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. 

Several marchers carried signs and chanted "No justice, no peace," and other rallying cries along the way.

At City Hall, they shouted "I can't breathe" in reference to Floyd's pleas for help as former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

Houston police dressed in riot gear kept watch during the rally but their were no major issues.

RELATED: Protesters block Houston freeways as rallies for George Floyd continue

RELATED: Derek Chauvin charged with 3rd degree murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd

Turner later said he understands the anger and frustration and supports the right to protest, but asked Houstonians to keep it peaceful.

Floyd's death hits close to home because he grew up in the Third Ward.  A lot of Houstonians knew him and he still has family here.

BLM organizers say "people are angry" and what happened to Floyd has to fuel change.

"My message to everybody who's coming is this a community event, a family event, it ain't just to express our anger, but we have to get together to truly get something done," said Ashton Woods, with Black Lives Matter Houston.

RELATED: 'Stand strong, stand together': Former NBA player Steven Jackson on a mission to get justice for George Floyd

Protests have become violent in Minneapolis, Los Angeles and other cities but Houston has a long history of peaceful protests.

RELATED: Biden: George Floyd's death shows 'open wound' of US racism

RELATED: Former President Obama issues statement over George Floyd's death

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