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Protesters Shut Down I-4 As Hundreds March Through The City

Protesters chant as Orlando police officers in riot gear stand outside OPD headquarters on Sunday  05/31. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
Protesters chant as Orlando police officers in riot gear stand outside OPD headquarters on Sunday 05/31. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Protests continued in Orlando Sunday past curfew, with hundreds marching through the streets of the city and shutting down Interstate 4 . 

Demonstrations are being held across the U.S. after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. 

Protesters in Orlando marched from Lake Eola to the Orlando Police Headquarters Sunday afternoon, where they chanted "George Floyd, say his name," "Hands up, don't shoot," and "No justice, no peace," as police wearing riot gear looked on. 

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Tiera Gold waves a rainbow flag as protesters gather at the on ramp to the 408 expressway. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE[/caption]

Demonstrators also kneeled, echoing former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's 2016 national anthem protest. At one point, both Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon and Orange County Sheriff John Mina were photographed taking a knee with protesters.

Later the group marched to a ramp onto the 408 expressway, which was blocked by a line of police officers. 

Tiera Gold was waving a rainbow flag as she walked with the demonstrators. 

“This is different from any other time, this is different from before, like America is really stepping up," said Gold.

"The world is different now and everybody’s really coming together and waking up. We have to come together and we have to understand that the system that is in place, it has to change because it’s not for the people and we need a system that is for the people.”

Mario Fields wore a T-shirt printed with the words “please I can’t breathe” and “George Floyd.” 

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Mario Fields. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE[/caption]

“You know the communities have been suffering from things like this, so we’re just trying just make sure our voices get heard, this time," said Fields.

"You know, we’re just kind of tired of doing these things all the time. So we just want to make sure that hopefully this time, something changes.” 

At one point, water bottles were thrown at police on the 408 ramp, who then fired tear gas. 

Police deployed tear gas at other times during the evening, including during an incident at I-4 where they said demonstrators were throwing rocks, bottles and construction equipment. A spokeswoman for Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted that the Florida National Guard to Miramar and Tampa. 

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Protesters outside the Orlando Police Department. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE[/caption]