Bentonville protests take a turn

News

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Protests continue nationwide calling for justice for George Floyd, the unarmed Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.

We’ve seen protests from Fayetteville to Fort Smith, with the latest happening in Bentonville.

On Monday, (June 1) the Bentonville Police Department deployed tear gas after a protest in the Bentonville City Square was declared unlawful.

The protest reportedly started peacefully until about 9:00 p.m.

Police in riot gear were seen coming out of the courthouse and protesters reportedly threw water bottles at them.

Sergeant Gene Page with the department said protestors were warned to disperse around 9:15 p.m. before tear gas was deployed about five minutes later. 

For the next hour, officers attempted to disperse the crowd and the protest was declared an unlawful gathering around 10:40 p.m.

Both protesters and officers retreated around midnight and the protest was over. Sergeant Page said there was damage to patrol cars.

Protest organizers had originally canceled the event after the NAACP advised it may not be safe, especially considering the Confederate statue in the square.

Organizers said they had received threats, which police said were invalid.

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