Police SUV in flames as protest turns to riot outside Providence Place Mall
43 people arrested according to state police
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE): Protesters set fire to a police vehicle outside the Providence Place Mall early Tuesday morning, as anger over the death of George Floyd while in the custody of a white police officer continued to set off demonstrations, sometimes violent, across the country.
Protesters had gathered outside the Providence Place Mall shortly after midnight Tuesday, growing in number toward 1 a.m. A large police presence was sighted at the mall Monday night as reports of calls for looting circulated on social media earlier in the day.
Reports circulated that some in the crowd broke into the mall sometime after 1 a.m. Witnesses saw at least three individuals carried out in handcuffs a short time later.
Reporters on scene described some in the crowd launching water bottles and fireworks at the police, before police vehicles were damaged.
Reporter Ellie Romano witnessed the Providence Fire Department and Homeland Security arriving on scene shortly after the fire broke out. Police were seen putting on riot gear as the police SUV was swarmed with flames.
Police dispersed the crowd from Francis Street, with reports coming in that the riot continued throughout downtown and other areas of the city.
Looters struck St. Pierre’s Shop on Washington Street and damaged businesses on Westminster Street.
“This was not a protest, this was a organized planned attack on the city of Providence by, we believe, several hundred people mostly from out of state,” said Col. James Manni of the Rhode Island State Police. “We had received intelligence this could occur earlier in the evening. Providence police and state police were fully prepared for it.”
According to Col. Manni, several police officers were hit with bricks.
Providence Mayor Elorza said later in a morning briefing that 65 people were arrested following the protest.
This is a developing story stick with ABC6 News