AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Police Association has released a statement on the protests that occurred throughout downtown Austin on Saturday.
"We are so proud of the Officers of APD! Yesterday, they took on massive crowds who were rioting and blocking Interstate 35 and other roadways. The protest began peacefully, but quickly got out of control when Antifa types started to agitate the crowd," the organization said in part over a Facebook post.
Throughout Saturday, thousands of people gathered in downtown Austin to protest and demand justice for Floyd, Ramos, and other victims of police violence. The protests were mostly peaceful but tensions flared between police officers and protesters as the protest carried into the night.
Protesters threw rocks, bottles, paint, and other dangerous items at police officers. Officers responded with pepper spray, rubber bullets, and bean bag rounds in an attempt to control the crowds of protesters.
A few fires were also set near APD headquarters. One vehicle was doused with gasoline, a dumpster for a gas station nearby was also set on fire. Restaurants and stores on Dirty Sitxh Street were also damaged and vandalized.
"Departments all over the county are seeing non-state residents get arrested for causing mayhem in cities. We call on Travis County DA Margaret Moore and Governor Greg Abbott to work with Dept. of Justice to prosecute these individuals who cross state lines to commit crimes and riot," the organization wrote.