APD: Nearly 30 arrests related to protests in past 24 hours

Investigations
Protest outside APD headquarters 5-31-20

Officers watch on during protests in downtown Austin. (Frank Martinez/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin police said officers arrested almost 30 people related to protests in the past 24 hours on charges including burglary, theft, interference with public duties, graffiti, engaging in organized crime, assault and participating in a riot, according to APD.

Swaths of law enforcement officers were positioned downtown and at the Capitol during waves of protests over the weekend. The masses of protesters gathered on the streets to protest the deaths of two Black men, George Floyd in Minnesota and Michael Ramos in Austin, who died while being arrested by police.

Travis County has not yet provided all the arrest affidavits related to the protests. A county booking list shows the following charges over the weekend:

  • Participating in a riot (at least 8 charges)
  • Burglary of a building (at least 1 charge)
  • Interfering with police duties (at least 4 charges)
  • Theft of property (at least 1 charge)
  • Unlawful carrying a weapon (at least 1 charge)
  • Graffiti (at least 2 charges)
  • Prohibited weapon (at least 1 charge)
  • Theft of firearm (at least 1 charge)

The protests have, at times, led to confrontations between police and protesters. Over the weekend, protesters spread onto Interstate 35 and shut down the freeway and frontage road. People have also looted business downtown where multiple fires erupted over the weekend.

Austin Fire Department spokesperson Michelle Tanzola said there were at least 10 dumpster fires, multiple trashcan fires and one car fire over the weekend.

Arrest affidavits show at least eight people were arrested Saturday and charged with “participating in a riot,” a Class B misdemeanor. The riot participation charges were related to people throwing bottles at or near police, interrupting an officer trying to make an arrest and spray-painting graffiti on APD’s headquarters, according to arrest affidavits.

APD also arrested a man for possession or manufacture of a prohibited weapon. Police said they witnessed the man, on an overhead HALO camera, mixing a Molotov cocktail, court records show. Another man was arrested Saturday on Fifth Street for allegedly striking a police horse on the neck with a protest sign.

KXAN checked into the backgrounds of those charged with participating in a riot, and all except one appear to have addresses in Austin or surrounding towns.

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