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This story was updated at 10:18 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2020, with more information.

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UPDATE 12:07 a.m.: Law enforcement officers have blocked off the Market Street Bridge bridge and closed one side of the sidewalk on Frazier Avenue.

The south sidewalk on Frazier eastbound between the Bridge and Forrest Avenue is blocked, but protesters remain on the other side of the road.

The crowd was obstinate and it took police an hour to get people off the sidewalk, as activists argued they had the right to peacefully protest on the sidewalk.

Earlier, someone threw a firecracker into the intersection of Fraizer and Market, causing people to flood onto the bridge and head southbound toward downtown. Chattanooga police vehicles followed them over the bridge and protesters walked the police vehicles back.

A mostly peaceful standoff ensued near the corner of Frazier and Market with a few physical altercations and at least two arrests.

Another firework was thrown between the police and the activists. 

The crowd is smaller than earlier in the evening and currently huddled in the Walgreens parking lot on Frazier Avenue.

UPDATE 10:15 p.m.:

A crowd of protesters and police appear to be squaring off on Frazier Avenue near the Walnut Street Bridge.

Protesters approached the end of the bridge, many with their hand up shouting, "Hands up, don't shoot."

Police have several vehicles on Frazier Avenue but the street is not blocked or barricaded. Some protesters have dispersed into Coolidge Park.

Further down Frazier, at the intersection of Market Street, tensions appear to be growing between protesters and law enforcement. Chattanooga police, the National Guard and state troopers are standing in lines, facing the protesters. Another wave of protesters is heading over the Market Street Bridge toward North Chattanooga.

But law enforcement has blocked the entrance to the bridge at Market Street and appear to be trying to contain the demonstration to the bridge. 

UPDATE 9:49 p.m.: An altercation between protesters and police occurred at the Hamilton County Courthouse. Two or three protesters removed a light fixture at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Georgia Avenue and tore down a United Way banner tethered between the fixture and another one. They then threw the banner off the top of the stairs while a majority of the crowd of protesters yelled, "Don't do it."

Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies came out of the building with non-lethal weapons and tackled two people and arrested one. They had physical altercations with several people on the courthouse stairs.

While protesters stood on the sidewalk outside the courthouse, at least one explosive believed to be teargas went off. Many of the several hundred protesters fled into the street. Chattanooga police said the sheriff's office deployed the teargas. State troopers in gas masks as well as Chattanooga police formed a line between the activists and the courthouse. 

Protesters are now kneeling while organizers discourage altercation with law enforcement.

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UPDATE 8:41 p.m.: Several hundred people assembled in Coolidge Park to protest Floyd's death. There was a large police presence and some demonstrators mentioned instances of alleged police violence in Chattanooga.

"Right now it's going to be us against the police department until we get some justice," one protester said. "The laws weren't written for the color of my skin. And they wonder why I'm angry."

According to Chattanooga Police, more than 50 protesters assembled at Mayor Andy Berke's house Sunday evening, drawing chalk body outlines in the street and writing the words "I can't breathe" in the driveway. 

While police stuck around to monitor the property, the protesters reportedly left to briefly protest at the Hamilton County Jail, but all of the protests remained peaceful. 

Berke said earlier in the day that he "encourages everyone in Chattanooga to exercise their First Amendment rights and express themselves in a safe way."

A spokeswoman for the mayor's office said Sunday that the city had no plans to implement curfews or other restrictions at this point in the protests.

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Original story:

Protests in Chattanooga over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer are entering their second day. People are gathering near Coolidge Park to continue demonstrating after Floyd died as a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes while Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

On Sunday afternoon, around 250 people gathered outside the Hamilton County jail and courthouse. The day before, peaceful protests in the afternoon turned violent in the evening and at least 11 people were arrested.

Concerned Citizens for Social Justice, Initiative Untitled and Mercy Junction have organized the protest happening now near Coolidge Park.

 

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