ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Protesters gathered in downtown Albuquerque on Sunday around 7:00 PM with thousands of protesters marching throughout the city wanting to bring justice for the death of George Floyd. Protests began peacefully, with hundreds of people holding signs while cars honked and people yelled chants as they marched down Central to the University of New Mexico.
Protests followed a candlelight vigil for Floyd where hundreds of people paid their respects and listened to dozens of speakers share their thoughts on Floyd’s death. Mayor Keller made an appearance at the vigil. Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice, the social services organization, organized the event.
We are standing with hundreds of people for a candlelight vigil to mourn George Floyd and stand up against racism everywhere. pic.twitter.com/1QLJYGWUtl— Mayor Tim Keller (@MayorKeller) June 1, 2020
KRQE News 13 crews caught a dumpster fire off Lead and Harvard, but police could not confirm if it was directly related to the protest.
Dumpster fire at Harvard and Lead pic.twitter.com/SfkWBmemQe— Lysée Mitri (@LyseeMitri) June 1, 2020
Protests then turned violent overnight. While the city of Albuquerque was sleeping, chaos erupted. Police in riot gear were tasked with keeping the peace. Videos show the violent protests broke out after midnight Monday along Central. Protesters started fires in the middle of Central and 3rd Street and even smashed out the windows of nearby businesses.
UFC fighter Jon Bones Jones was nearby urging people to stay home. “We live here, we all live here and that’s just what doesn’t make sense. We live here, we’ve got to go eat at these same restaurants tomorrow, we have to take our kids for a walk and see the inappropriate gestures and words written all over the walls,” said Jones.
This is around 12:40 a.m. Key points: At 0:05 @ABQPOLICE confronts a homeless man, among others, tells him to leave. 0:40 tear gas deployed. 1:43 the homeless man is taken into custody. 2:00, an APD officer pushes me after identifying myself as media, later says, “I don’t care.” pic.twitter.com/hMBtlj8hpx— Trevier Gonzalez (@Sevenrevier) June 1, 2020
Several buildings downtown are covered in graffiti, with some messages against police. Cleanup began in the morning, and some businesses returned to find their stores vandalized.
Here’s some of the graffiti and signs left along Central after violence broke out just after midnight. It’s not believed (at this time) that the people responsible were involved with the #BlackLivesMatter demonstrations earlier Sunday @krqe pic.twitter.com/Dh6FMb4u0n— Jami Seymore (@JamiSeymore) June 1, 2020
It’s unclear which group is responsible for the downtown protests that turned violent but it is not believed to be those with the earlier Black Lives Matter demonstration near the University of New Mexico on Sunday where things were peaceful.
- Clean-up takes place following downtown Albuquerque riot
- Overnight protests turn violent in downtown Albuquerque
- Thousands attend Sunday vigil for George Floyd, march down Central