OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After Saturday’s protest and subsequent unrest, hundreds if not thousands of Oklahomans have gathered in Oklahoma City to protest the death of George Floyd’s death beneath the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Bystander video shows George Floyd pleading for help as officers held him down for at least eight minutes.
46-year-old Floyd was unresponsive and did not have a pulse when EMS arrived to the scene, Minneapolis fire officials said in a report.
Floyd was officially pronounced dead 90 minutes after his encounter with Minneapolis police.
The four officers involved were fired but many, including a friend of Floyd’s here in Oklahoma, are demanding justice.
“We watched as a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.
Chauvin was arrested on suspicion of third-degree murder. His bond was set at $500,000.
Protests over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody spread around the United States on Friday, as his case renewed anger over others involving African Americans, police, and race relations.
Protests were largely peaceful as demonstrators marched in the streets from Los Angeles to New York, but destruction, violence, and unrest soon followed in cities like Atlanta, Minneapolis, and even here in Oklahoma City.
On Saturday around 7:30 p.m., hundreds of Oklahomans gathered at NW 23rd and Classen where protesters blocked traffic.
OKCPD attempted to clear the area several times throughout the evening- arresting several people. Officials say some officers sustained minor injuries during this time.
About 13 demonstrators were arrested by 10:30 p.m.
As the night progressed, the protest moved from the intersection to the Plaza District and then ended in downtown Oklahoma City near police headquarters.
Shortly before midnight, officers began firing tear gas into the crowd to disperse the protesters and gave them warnings to go home.
Even after tear gas was fired into the crowd, the protesters would disperse for a short time before reconvening and moving closer toward police headquarters.
Just before 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oklahoma City police warned that a small crowd gathered again at N.W. 23rd and Classen, adding that several business have been vandalized and burglarized. At the same time, officials announced that members of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office were moved outside the Oklahoma County Jail to protect the facility from protesters.
Around 2 a.m., Oklahoma City police began moving further away from headquarters and started putting pressure on the protesters to clear out. As that happened, some protesters could be seen throwing water bottles at officers.
At that point, many protesters decided to leave the area.
On Sunday, organizers and protesters gathered at Nappy Roots Books near 36th and Kelly.
Organizers tell KFOR the Black Lives Matter protest is not only for George Floyd, but for every person who’s been victimized by racism and oppression.
Officials also tell News 4 they do not plan to mobilize, instead keeping today’s demonstration at the intersection at 36th and Kelly. However, crowd sizes may force the protest to expand.
Protesters and organizers alike reiterate their intentions are not to riot or vandalize, but to have their voices heard and spark change.
Oklahoma City Mayor, David Holt joined protesters Sunday to “listen and help.”
OKC civil rights activist Clara Luper’s daughter also joined the crowd on Sunday.
The crowd has begun to move towards the Capitol to take the demonstration to the Sooner State’s leaders.
This is a developing story. Stay with News 4 as today’s events unfold.