Protesters shut down streets in march through downtown

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(Photo Courtesy Kit O’Connell)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A large group of protesters marched through downtown Austin on Friday evening, shutting down the Congress Avenue Bridge and access to Interstate 35 at some points.

The protests come in response to the Freddie Gray situation in Baltimore, and other police shootings in Austin and throughout the country.

The march remained largely peaceful, with the most tense standoff coming as about 200 protesters moved toward the southbound access ramp to I-35 at Sixth Street. Kit O’Connell, who was following the march, said officers used pepper spray on multiple people near the I-35 ramp. Officers blocked the ramp to prevent the group from moving onto the freeway, and the protesters eventually dispersed.

Austin Police said there were no major incidents reported during the march.

Pictures posted on social media showed a person burning what appeared to be an American flag on the Congress Avenue Bridge, and the group could also be heard chanting several messages throughout the march, including some derogatory remarks directed at police.

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