RENO—A large crowd set out in Downtown Reno on Saturday, May 30 starting around 2 p.m. to protest and rally in light of George Floyd’s death.
George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, was killed by ex-officer Derek Chauvin on Monday, May 25. The officer killed him by kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes.
The protest began in the Believe Plaza with speakers and chants before moving southbound on Virginia Street. Protesters rallied together in front of the Federal Building before making a loop down Virginia Street and coming up on Center Street and Holcomb Avenue before turning onto E 2nd Street to protest in front of the Reno Police Department.
Once stationed in front of the Reno Police Department, protestors tore down a flag off the flag pole and set it on fire. Protesters also began banging on the windows, throwing trash and spray painting the windows and walls of the station. During protests in front of the police station, Reno Police Department officers stood watch from the roof but did not interact with any protesters.
Protesters then marched around Downtown Reno under Circus Circus, under the Reno Arch and back to the intersection at First Street and Virginia.
According to reports, Reno City Hall was broken into and set on fire. It is unclear who exactly was responsible for breaking into City Hall. Additionally, rocks were thrown into the second and third floors of the building.
After City Hall was raided and the fire was put out, Reno Police Department released tear gas and came out in riot gear. Protesters began standing off with police officers around 7:45 p.m.
After tensions began to rise and rioting began to increase, Gov. Sisolak called the National Guard in Reno. The National Guard arrived around 9:45 p.m.
“These are our neighbors & Nevadans,” Gov. Sisolak said in a tweet. “They stand ready to support state & local law enforcement in preserving public safety as well as the ability of individuals to exercise their rights to peacefully demonstrate.”
Sheriff Darin Balaam released a statement on the Reno protests.
“Tonight, our community is continuing to face hardship and we are just as angry about the events that happened in Minneapolis as those demonstrating,” Balaam said. “But, please, for the safety of yourself, your family members, and our community go home peacefully.”
Reno Police Chief and Acting City Manager Jason Soto said the Black Lives Matter protesters were not inciting violence.
“These were not the event-goers of the Black Lives Matter demonstration,” Soto said on Facebook. “They held a peaceful protest and, for the large majority, left the area. Many of these individuals that created and caused so much damage to our Biggest Little City were from areas other than Reno.
ASUN President Dominque Hall spoke earlier at the protest.
“We are the students and leaders of tomorrow. I encourage you to use your voice on this campus and do something about [police brutality] now because it happens in Reno,” Hall said.
President Marc Johnson of the University of Nevada, Reno sent out a mass email condemned racism, abuse of power and brutality which led to George Floyd’s death.
“As a nation, not only have we not resolved the historically deep wounds of structural racism, inequality, injustice and violence in our country, but those divisions, dramatically intensified in recent times, significantly challenge our democracy,” President Johnson said.
According to the Reno-Gazette Journal, Reno Police arrested 23 people Saturday night. Clean-up efforts were held the morning after the event.
— Sarah Strang (@scsstrang) May 31, 2020
The Reno Police Department after protesters have continued marching. pic.twitter.com/IEeC7SYmXm
— Taylor Avery (@travery98) May 31, 2020
— Olivia Ali (@OliviaNAli) May 30, 2020
LAS VEGAS—Protesters returned to Las Vegas on Saturday, May 30 for a second night of protests.
The protest officially started at 7:00 p.m., but more than 100 people were there prior.
Protesters began marching around Fremont Street around 7:30 p.m.
Protests began peaceful until protesters began expressing concerns that police were beginning to box people within Container Park. Other protesters began marching towards the courthouse to express their concerns there. According to the Nevada Sagebrush’s on-the-ground reporter, protesters threw water bottles and Molotov cocktails at police officers. Police officers began slowly pushing back protesters in front of Container Park.
Tear gas was thrown in front of the protesters around 10:10.
Protesters began scattering around 10:15 p.m. and police still blocked Container Park.
Approximately, 75 people were arrested in Las Vegas Saturday night. Approximately 80 people were arrested the previous night.
.@NevadaSagebrush is live in Las Vegas reporting on the second Black Lives Matter protest at Container Park.
The protesters were chanting “I can’t breathe” as we arrived on scene. pic.twitter.com/5I2sb2G5vt
— Taylor Johnson (@taylorkendyll) May 31, 2020
— Andrew Mendez (@Amendez2000) May 31, 2020
The Nevada Sagebrush can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.