From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — A peaceful day of protest in Birmingham on Sunday morphed into a night of violence involving businesses being looted, vandalized and burned.
The mood began to turn at Linn Park in Birmingham on Sunday evening when protestors began to deface and then attempted to take down a Confederate monument during a rally for George Floyd. The statue of Charles Linn was ripped from its foundation and cast upon the ground as the night devolved into mayhem.
The move to take down the statue began during a speech from comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson as the crowd gathered to protest the murder of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minnesota police officer. Demonstrators first took down the plywood barrier protecting the monument and then spray painted and chipped away at it. They then placed a rope around the monument and attempted to pull it down.
— Anna Beahm (@_AnnaBeahm) June 1, 2020
Officers from the Birmingham Police Department were on the scene and did not attempt to intervene.
The protestors then spilled into the streets of Birmingham were bars and restaurants were vandalized. Reporters covering the events were attacked and gunshots could be heard throughout the city.
The move by demonstrators on Sunday followed the reports that 20 people were arrested at a protest near Hoover City Hall late Saturday night.
Most of those arrests resulted in disorderly conduct charges after protesters blocked traffic on Montgomery Highway, Hoover police Lt. Keith Czeskleba said. Other charges included criminal trespass and resisting arrest, and one person was charged with carrying a firearm during a demonstration.
Derek Chauvin, the white police officer who worked for the Minneapolis Police Department, is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd died after Chauvin pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air.