For the third consecutive day, protests against police violence (and less so the deadly retaliation by Micah Johnson) continued on Saturday night across America and shut down key roadways and transportation arteries in a number of U.S. cities on Saturday, resulting in mass arrests. The protests stretched into early Sunday morning in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, where tensions are most raw after the deaths of Alton Sterling in the Louisiana city and of Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb.
While thousands of mostly peaceful demonstrators flooded the streets of major U.S. cities again Saturday night, a protest in St. Paul took a particularly violent turn, with participants hurling Molotov cocktails, fireworks, rocks, glass bottles, concrete slabs, and bricks at riot gear-wearing police officers. Police said on Twitter that people on an overpass were "throwing objects at officers, dumping liquid on officers" and others were throwing rocks and rebar. Police were heard telling the crowd, "leave the interstate now or you'll be subject to a use of force" shortly after 10:30 p.m. Police blamed "aggressors" for throwing objects at officers, and said police were using "marking rounds." Five officers were injured, and two were taken to the hospital. All are expected to be okay.
Authorities used smoke bombs when 200 protesters refused to leave the roadway just after midnight. By 12:45 a.m. Sunday, police said they were clearing debris from the road in order to reopen the highway.