70ºF

Hundreds protest death of George Floyd in downtown Roanoke

One person detained, charges unknown

ROANOKE, Va. – Demonstrators took the streets of Roanoke on Saturday afternoon to protest four days after the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minnesota during an arrest for suspected forgery.

In Roanoke, hundreds of demonstrators with the Black Lives Matter movement gathered at 3 p.m. Saturday at Washington Park and members of the city’s NAACP chapter spoke before they marched up Gainsboro Road, holding signs and chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.” One Roanoke protester has been detained. Charges against them are unknown at this time.

Demonstrators then made their way across the bridge into downtown Roanoke onto Campbell Ave., toward the Roanoke City Police Department.

Below are videos that were taken live by our teams in the field as demonstrations unfolded:

Members of the Roanoke chapter of the NAACP spoke to a crowd of protestors as demonstrations began.

  • The group then made their way up Gainsboro Road as officers with the Roanoke City Police Department suited up with riot gear.
  • Protesters then made their way to the Roanoke City Police Department in downtown Roanoke, where officers set up a barricade that demonstrators went around. Officers could be heard telling protesters to leave or they could be arrested.
  • Demonstrators could be heard chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” in front of the Roanoke City Police Department, where the line was drawn on Campbell Ave. in front of the station. An officer was seen passing out tear gas canisters as authorities told protesters to get back behind the line.

Protests have erupted across the nation, including in Richmond on Friday, as well as other cities across the commonwealth throughout the weekend.

Demonstrators marched, stopped traffic and in some cases lashed out violently at police as protests erupted Friday in dozens of U.S. cities following the killing of George Floyd after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck while taking him into custody in Minnesota.

Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency in one county to activate up to 500 members of the state National Guard “to protect people & property in Atlanta.”

At least three officers were hurt and there were multiple arrests, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said

In Minneapolis, where a police precinct was burned the night before, peaceful protests picked up steam as darkness fell, with thousands of people ignoring an 8 p.m. curfew to walk streets in the southern part of the city.

In Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and beyond, thousands of protesters carried signs that said: “He said I can’t breathe. Justice for George.” They chanted ”“No justice, no peace” and “Say his name. George Floyd.”


About the Authors: