EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Police Department said two officers were injured during the protest on Sunday.
As we reported, thousands of El Pasoans marched from Memorial Park to El Paso Police Headquarters and while some said the protest was peaceful, tensions did rise.
“I do believe that El Paso did represent ourselves in a good way yesterday. Even though there may have been some conflicts here and there. Overall, I do believe that it was a peaceful protest,” El Pasoan Matthew Leal told KTSM.
Leal said he joined thousands of El Pasoans on Sunday to protest against racism and the death of George Floyd. It began with a moment of silence for Floyd at Memorial Park, then a march to EPPD Headquarters.
“It was very very peaceful. It was very powerful. There were people standing in solidarity for George Floyd, for the countless number of black people that have been oppressed for centuries in this country,” Leal shared.
Leal said that peaceful protest took a turn once it got dark and tensions started to escalate among some, “99% of the people that were there were there to protest peacefully, but there’s no way to control that .01% of people that may have been there to just to unleash their anger and try to create chaos.”
El Paso PD tweeted Sunday night, “Officers providing a safe route are now being assaulted at different locations.” For Leal, the protest was not about targeting El Paso police officers, “This protest was about standing against racism and showing up as people. El Paso showing up against racism and police brutality. Making a stand.”
EPPD’s tweet was then followed by another that read, “Areas were cleared. Some in crowd surrounded officer and threw bottles at officer on motor.”
On Monday, KTSM reached out to the El Paso Police Department for comment and details on the incidents. PD responded with a statement reading in part quote, “2 officers injured by projectiles thrown by ‘peaceful protesters’ . One struck by a rock, one hit in the face by a tear gas canister picked up and thrown at an officer.”
EPPD said officers only used tear gas and bean bags, and that there were three arrests made however they were not related to the alleged assaults on officers.