What appeared to be a peaceful night of protests against the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina turned unruly late Sunday, reports the CBS affiliate there, WBTV. It was the third straight night of demonstrations against the GOP gathering, which officially kicks off Monday.
Friday and Saturday night protests were more hectic. Police made five arrests Saturday.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police tweeted that demonstrators were “beginning to move barricades, construction cones and trash cans to block roads and impede traffic” as they marched through the Uptown area of the city.
Later, police said crowds “continued to block traffic and prevent buses and cars from moving” and “refused to clear the intersection. While officers were clearing the intersection, they deployed pepper spray and made two arrests.”
CBS News’ Fin Gomez witnessed some of the trouble firsthand, outside his hotel:
Gomez said there were about 100 protesters and about the same number of officers, mostly in riot gear and nearly all on mountain bikes, but some on motorcycles.
The crowd was mainly young, peaceful, and walking together while yelling Black Lives Matter chants, with police following behind them on their bikes.
At one intersection, Gomes said, some of the protesters turned around and held their ground, and some pushed into police. Officers then started yelling “Move back!” and some then pushed into crowd with their bikes and knocked over a couple people.
“You see that?!” one protester yelled. “You see that?!”
Another protester kicked a police bike, and another threw an orange parking cone in the air towards officers. Many profanities were uttered.
After protesters and a motorist confronted one another, a protester jumped in to the tension, Gomez reports.
The protesters then marched farther down the street and the tensions seem to ease with half of the police riding off on their bikes.