Protests seen in Denver, Columbus, Louisville after George Floyd death

A protest in Denver over the death of George Floyd escalated into violence Thursday evening as demonstrators blocked traffic and vandalized property near the Colorado Statehouse.

Protesters calling for justice for Floyd — a handcuffed black man who died while n police custody in Minneapolis on Monday — smashed car windows and broke a window of the building.

Other protests broke out across the U.S., in cities such as Columbus, Ohio, and Louisville, Ky.

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In Denver, protesters marched through the downtown area, stopping traffic and briefly blocking cars from entering a freeway, prompting police to fire tear gas to get them to disperse.

Gary Cutler, a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol, said a shooting happened in a park across the street from the Statehouse after most of the protesters had moved to downtown.

“We just got shot at,” state Rep. Leslie Herod tweeted. The Statehouse was locked down, Cutler said, and no one was hurt.

“We do believe that the shots were towards the Capitol, but we do not at this point have any correlation to the protest or the protesters,” Denver Police Department spokesman Kurt Barnes told The Denver Post.

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No arrests were reported and it was unclear who fired the shots.

“Tonight is a very sad night for our state,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted. “While we are still uncovering all of the facts, a protest regarding the killing of George Floyd devolved into vandalism and violence, and I was absolutely shocked by video evidence of a motorist attempting to run over a protestor.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock tweeted, “I want to plead to everyone, let’s demonstrate but let’s demonstrate peacefully. Leave the weapons at home.”

In Columbus, protesters broke windows and went inside the Ohio Statehouse, according to reports.

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In Louisville, Ky, hundreds of protesters blocked traffic and shots around were fired around 11:30 p.m. while demonstrating against the death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville woman who was fatally shot by police in her apartment after a “no knock” search warrant on March 13. There were no reported injuries.

The Louisville Metro Police Department said officers returned fire when Taylor’s boyfriend shot at them.

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