What one USA TODAY reporter saw during George Floyd protests — until he was temporarily blinded by pepper spray

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USA TODAY reporter Tyler Davis recounts his experience at a protest for George Floyd in downtown Minneapolis, where he was temporarily blinded by pepper spray.

ST. PAUL — Hours of peaceful protests of the death of George Floyd in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday evening gave way to clashes between police and demonstrators, leading to a number of people being hit with chemical irritants.After speaking that afternoon with civil rights leaders and local black clergymen and minority business owners in looted stretches of St.

After marching and coming back to the office building twice, the group set out for the final time about 8:20 p.m., vowing to"shut s*** down." Once protesters began touching the barricades, officers in the parking lot began to retreat while spraying liquid or gas at the group, causing several people to run. Within moments, about 8:50 p.m., multiple Minneapolis Police Department squad cars — three or four of them marked, one not — rode into South Fourth Street and separated the crowd. A dozen officers arrived on bikes as well.

He laid on the trigger for a few seconds as I told him I was a member of the media. With my right arm and part of my face covered in the spray, I began to walk back toward the crowd, but was pushed toward Hennepin Avenue. It was about 8:55 p.m., the 1,000-person mass that congregated at the government office was down to about half that or fewer.

 

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Poor baby. Non-essential.

this is America, where there is freedom, every body is equal but POLICE is above all, and even you can't protest against killer cops . shame...

You mean violent destruction and looting that’s not being properly suppressed because the Minnesota and Minneapolis governments are a bunch of pansies.

Liberal tears.

It was a riot, not a protest.

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