Friday evening, Black Unity supporters gathered in Springfield to spread awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. But tensions escalated between protesters and the police.
Starting at 6:30, protesters met at Splash! at Lively Park. While marching, a small group of counter-protesters met them holding an American flag. But protest leaders asked supporters not to antagonize them.
During the march, Springfield police officers appeared with batons in hand, even though there was no violence or conflict between the groups.
After SPD told the crowd they couldn’t march down a main road, protesters hopped in their cars and moved their protest to downtown Springfield.
On multiple occasions, SPD was videotaped pushing protesters off the street and onto the sidewalk.
More protests in support of Black Lives Matter and defunding the police are scheduled for this weekend.