PITTSBURGH — Protests happened across the Pittsburgh area Sunday afternoon in response to the death of George Floyd. It was the second straight day of protests in the region.
Floyd died while in police custody earlier this week. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Chauvin is accused of keeping his knee on the Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
UPDATE 7:50 p.m.: The crowd of protesters that started in Market Square and made its way to the courthouse on Grant Street has dispersed, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety.
A group of about 150 protesters were seen spray painting the roads with messages like “I can’t breathe" and “Black lives matter” across from the courthouse. The protesters marched around downtown Pittsburgh for about three hours Sunday.
Officials said there were no incidents to report and that it was a peaceful rally.
UPDATE 6:45 p.m.: A peaceful protest was held in Uniontown. Officers from the police department escorted the crowd as they marched from Walgeens to the courthouse where they held a demonstration.
UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: Protesters held a rally in New Castle Sunday. The protest was led by New Castle mayor Chris Frye, and the protesters made their voices heard about Floyd’s death.
UPDATE 6:25 p.m.: Protesters are sitting in the middle of Grant Street where earlier they spray painted the street.
UPDATE 6:20 p.m.: Hundreds of people have gathered in for a candlelight vigil in East Liberty.
UPDATE 6:15 p.m.: Walmart locations in Butler and North Versailles have closed because of protests that are happening across the area.
Walmart issued the following statement Sunday night:
“As we continue monitoring the situations unfolding in cities across the country, we will keep our focus on prioritizing the safety of our associates and customers. We’ll make the decisions to close or reopen stores in the area based on the needs of the community.”
UPDATE 5:55 p.m.: The crowd of protesters appears to be on the move and are heading towards Liberty Avenue.
UPDATE 5:45 p.m.: Channel 11′s Ryan Houston is seeing unmarked police cars driving around the crowd of protesters.
UPDATE 5:41 p.m.: The Port Authority had closed the Steel Plaza Station it appears as a result of the protests.
UPDATE 5:15 P.M.: Protesters have spray painted the street in front of the Pittsburgh’s City-County Building.
The group is now moving down Grant Street, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety.
UPDATE 5:11 p.m.: A large group of protesters gathered outside the Allegheny County Courthouse. The group so far is peaceful and appears to be carrying signs.
Around 25 people have gathered to protest at Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. The crowd is holding signs asking for justice for Floyd.
Around 100 protesters are holding a demonstration in Greensburg Sunday, according to our news partners at TribLIVE.com. The group was planning to start at the the Westmoreland County Courthouse then march about two blocks to Saint Clair Park.
Other protests are planned Sunday for downtown Pittsburgh, Butler, Uniontown, and Monessen.
A peaceful sit-in was held Sunday morning at the Aliquippa police station followed by a prayer vigil for Floyd.
Protests held in the city of Pittsburgh Saturday night turned violent and resulted in several businesses being damaged and dozens of arrests.
The Pittsburgh office of the FBI has issued a statement Sunday about the protests that have happened:
"FBI Pittsburgh has worked closely with our local and state partners throughout the events of the past couple days and continues to work closely to address any violations of federal law. If there is evidence a federal crime was committed, we will work in coordination with our U.S. Attorney’s office.”
U.S. Attorney Scott Brady issued the following statement Sunday on the riots that took place in Pittsburgh Saturday:
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has been working closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to preserve the First Amendment rights of citizens to free speech and assembly. Sadly, this is not what we witnessed in the streets of Pittsburgh last night.
Following today’s clear guidance from AG Barr, we will use the proven Joint Terrorism Task Force model to identify, apprehend and prosecute anyone who uses the guise of protest to incite violence and violate federal laws. We will not allow violent agitators to hijack legitimate protests for their own agenda.”
Stay with Channel 11 for continuing coverage of the protests across the Pittsburgh area on WPXI.com and on Channel 11 News at 6 p.m on TV and in our streaming apps.
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