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Police Arrested More Than 11,000 People At Protests Across The US

BuzzFeed News reached out to 30 local police departments — including Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles — seeking their official numbers. Here’s what we found.

Posted on June 2, 2020, at 10:32 p.m. ET

Bryan R. Smith / Getty Images

Police arrest protesters walking on FDR Drive, stopping traffic, as they demonstrate over the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police at a rally in New York, May 30.

Police across the US have arrested more than 11,000 people — a remarkable sum, yet a conservative count — during protests against police brutality sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

In the eight days since Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, police have cracked down in response both to peaceful demonstrators and people accused of looting and violence.

To understand the scope and geography of arrests linked to the demonstrations, BuzzFeed News on Tuesday morning requested official protest arrest numbers from 30 police departments around the country. In instances where they did not provide the data, BuzzFeed News gathered it from official statements and media reports.

The tallies in just these cities — and there have, of course, been protests and arrests in other cities not on this list — show the incredible scope of how people took to the streets, during a pandemic, to demand an end to the police’s killing of unarmed black people. Here’s what we learned.

Los Angeles: More than 2,700 arrests since protests began

The Los Angeles Police Department referred BuzzFeed News to its public statements. At a police commission meeting Tuesday, police Chief Michel Moore said that LAPD officers had arrested more than 2,700 people since the protests began, with the vast majority for “failure to disperse” or for violating the city’s curfew.

Chicago: 1,773 arrests since Saturday

The Chicago Police Department told BuzzFeed News that the department had arrested more than 1,300 at protests over the weekend, and another 396 on Monday night.

New York City: More than 1,700 arrests since Saturday

A New York City Police Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that more than 700 of those arrests were from Monday night.

Dallas: 911 arrests since Friday

The Dallas Police Department made nearly 700 arrests on Monday night alone, the agency told BuzzFeed News.

Philadelphia: 692 arrests since Saturday

The Philadelphia Police Department did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ inquiry, but Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said at a news conference Tuesday that there have been 692 arrests since Saturday.

Minneapolis and St. Paul: 604 arrests since Friday

The two neighboring cities’ police departments did not provide numbers to BuzzFeed News, but the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced Tuesday that its Multi-Agency Command Center had arrested 604 people in the Twin Cities since it was established on Friday.

Washington, DC: At least 405 arrests since Saturday

The Metropolitan Police Department did not provide arrest numbers to BuzzFeed News, but police Chief Peter Newsham said only 17 arrests had been made on Saturday. On Sunday, the department arrested 88 people. Finally, Newsham said police had arrested more than 300 people Monday night after the city imposed a 7 p.m. curfew.

Atlanta: 393 arrests since Friday

Atlanta’s police department told BuzzFeed News it made the majority of its arrests on Saturday night, with 157.

Denver: 338 arrests since Thursday

The Denver Police Department sent BuzzFeed News documents that indicated it had arrested 13 people in relation to the protests on Thursday, 18 on Friday, 83 on Saturday, 170 on Sunday, and 64 on Monday. The vast majority of the charges were for violating the city’s curfew.

Phoenix: More than 300 arrests since Saturday

The Phoenix Police Department did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ inquiry, but has previously said it made more than 100 arrests Saturday night and more than 200 arrests Sunday night. It made no arrests at a protest Monday.

Detroit: 254 arrests since Friday

The Detroit Police Department did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ inquiry. According to the Detroit Free Press, however, 254 people were arrested Friday night through Sunday night; police ticketed 40 additional people Monday night, but arrested none.

Kansas City, Missouri: At least 171 arrests since Friday

The Kansas City Police Department told BuzzFeed News it had made 151 arrests between Friday and Sunday night, plus “20–30” more arrests Monday night.

Oakland: At least 160 arrests since Sunday night

The Oakland Police Department arrested 100 people on Monday night, including 80 for curfew violations, according to local ABC station KGO.

Louisville, Kentucky: 136 arrests since Thursday

The Louisville Metro Police Department did not respond to inquiries, but local CBS station WLKY reported Tuesday that police have made 136 arrests since the beginning of the protests on Thursday.

San Francisco: 133 arrests since Friday

According to the numbers the San Francisco Police Department sent BuzzFeed News, the majority of the arrests were for curfew violations.

San Diego: 111 arrests since Sunday night

The San Diego Police Department told BuzzFeed News it had made 94 of the arrests on Sunday and 17 on Monday night.

Cleveland: Nearly 100 arrests since Saturday

The Cleveland Division of Police told BuzzFeed News that it had arrested 66 people on Saturday in connection to the protests, and that its total number of protest arrests was “just under 100.”

Portland, Oregon: More than 86 arrests since Friday

The Portland Police Bureau declined to provide a count to BuzzFeed News, but instead pointed to its press releases. Those announcements indicate that 13 people were arrested in Portland in connection to the protests Friday night, 51 Saturday night, 10 Sunday night, and more than 12 Monday night.

Miami: At least 85 arrests since Saturday

The Miami-Dade Police Department did not provide numbers to BuzzFeed News, but local media have reported at least 85 arrests since major protests began on Saturday. CBSMiami reported that 57 of those arrests were on Saturday night.

Seattle: 82 arrests since Friday

The Seattle Police Department provided overall numbers, but not a daily breakdown. Late Monday night, Seattle police declared the protests a “riot.”

Columbus, Ohio: At least 79 arrests since Saturday

On Saturday evening, the Columbus Division of Police said it had made 59 arrests that day. Police arrested another 20 people in relation to a protest Sunday, according to WRBL.

Jacksonville, Florida: At least 78 arrests since Saturday

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ inquiry, but Sheriff Mike Williams has said that Jacksonville police arrested 25 people on Saturday and 53 on Sunday.

Boston: 63 arrests since Saturday

The Boston Police Department made the majority of its arrests on Sunday night, according to figures it provided BuzzFeed News. On Monday, protesters held smaller gatherings and the police made no arrests.

Tampa, Florida: 61 arrests over the weekend

The Tampa Police Department told BuzzFeed News that it had arrested 40 people amid the protests on Saturday night and 21 on Sunday. (The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, headquartered in Tampa, also said it had arrested 10 people over the weekend.)

Indianapolis: At least 55 arrests since Friday night

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department did not respond to inquiries from BuzzFeed News, but the Indianapolis Star reported that police had arrested 55 people Friday and Saturday. FOX59 reported a “handful of arrests” on Sunday night.

Austin: 52 arrests since Saturday

The Austin Police Department made most of its arrests on Monday night, according to data it provided to BuzzFeed News.

Birmingham, Alabama: At least 36 arrests since Sunday night

The Birmingham Police Department did not provide numbers to BuzzFeed News, but AL.com reported that 24 people had been arrested Sunday night. WBTV reported another 12 had been arrested for curfew violations on Monday.

St. Louis: 36 arrests since Sunday

The St. Louis Police Department told BuzzFeed News that police had arrested 25 people on Sunday. At Monday night’s protest, police arrested another 11 people.

Madison, Wisconsin: At least 32 arrests since Saturday

The Madison Police Department did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ inquiry, but announced Tuesday morning that 15 people had been arrested the prior evening, which brings the total to at least 32, according to the Associated Press.


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