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‘I’m just so angry.’ Pittsburgh police chief says ‘anarchists’ likely hijacked peaceful protests downtown

PITTSBURGH — Police cars set on fire, businesses vandalized and protesters and police officers injured -- all of that prompted the mayor to implement citywide curfew and call in more police.

“I’m just so angry at the fact that some segment hijacked this and took some of the youth and brought them into the mix,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.

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Schubert lashed out at protesters who turned violent and set fire to police cars, assaulted journalist and looted businesses.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto implemented a curfew at 8:30 p.m. and called in more law enforcement agencies.

“Pittsburghers have always stood up calling for social justice, calling for peace and doing so in a way that brought us together, instead of ripped us apart,” Peduto said.

The mayor and the chief both appeared visibly upset that a peaceful protest for more than two hours turned violent so quickly. And they’re blaming it on outsiders.

“I’m willing to bet my check that there’s lot of people who are anarchists, who, they’re not here to protest what happened. They’re here to take advantage of the situation and try to throw it their way and bring other people into the mix and cause damage, cause injuries with that. And there’s no doubt that’s who’s doing it. And a lot of the things we are seeing are white males dressed in the anarchist Antifa,” Schubert said. “They’re the ones who are fueling a lot of this. It’s just a damn shame that they took advantage of the situation.”

Schubert said some arrests have already been made, and he will be reviewing surveillance footage to identify the suspects responsible for the violence today. He said they will be held responsible.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said more than a dozen business in the Central Business District have been vandalized.