DALLAS — Hundreds of people marched through downtown Dallas on Saturday night chanting, “Justice!
The rally, which started with a protest of the Dallas Police Department’s use of tear gas, turned violent, and led to arrests and injuries.
The Dallas Police arrested 32 people, most of them young African Americans, for “disorderly conduct” after a peaceful rally.
Officers then arrested another 37 people, who they said were acting “in concert” with one another and the “white supremacists” who are protesting peacefully.
Police were investigating Saturday night’s rally as a hate crime.
The Dallas Police Hate Crimes Task Force said in a statement that the protesters were acting in concert with one and another and said that they “fostered and supported one another.”
Police said they used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
“I was able to get into the crowd to get some water, and a group of protesters were attacking the officers, and at that point I jumped in and began to try and get into a fight with one of them,” said DPD Capt. Darryl Brown.
I am in awe of the men and women of the DPD and I want them to be able to protect me.
I will be one of you.
– DPD Sgt. DeWayne Jones.
DPD said the group included several groups of black people, some of whom were chanting “no justice, no peace.”
The Dallas Morning News reported that one protester was carrying a knife and a shield.
As the crowd dispersed, several people tried to break through the barricades to get inside the rally house, which is near a bus stop.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said police were responding to calls of a possible shooting and that the police officers who arrested people “were able to de-escalate the situation.”
The protesters who were arrested have not been identified.
The Dallas police chief said that he did not believe the group was acting in unison, adding that some of the people in the group did not know each other.
According to the police statement, a video from one of the protesters shows the officers attempting to get a group in the rally building to disperse and the other person telling the officers to back off.
Several people were seen filming the protest, but Brown said they had not seen the video.
Protesters held up signs that said “white supremacy” and “black lives matter.”
Many of the young people were wearing masks and masks of varying colors, with some wearing masks that showed the name of the protest.
Black people, many of whom are white, were among the protesters, and many wore masks that said, “Black Lives Matter.”
Some of the older white people were holding up signs with a message that said something like, “I will never let you down.”
“We are here to defend our lives, our futures, our people and our country,” said one young man in a mask.
“We don’t want justice, we want peace, and we want justice for all of the victims, victims of this murder, and for the future,” said another protester, who said he was a white person.
Many protesters were holding signs saying, “black people matter,” and, “white people are killing us.”
Some protesters wore masks with the words “I’ll be back.”
One of the groups was holding signs that read, “A lot of black lives matter, too.”
“It’s a black man’s world out there, but when we’re out here, it’s our world, too,” said 18-year-old D.J. Lewis, a member of the “Black Power” movement.
One woman held a sign that read “I’m here to support you, black lives.”
The rally had been planned by Dallas native Michael Smith, who was a member and leader of the Black Lives Matter movement, which gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s.
Smith was arrested in April 2014 after he was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Travon Joplin, a black Memphis man whose body was found with a gunshot wound in a storage room of his family’s storage facility.
The shooting prompted nationwide protests and eventually led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial discrimination in policing and other areas.
Smith was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 for first-degree manslaughter.
After the killing, Smith led a march through downtown, where a line of police stood in front of the police headquarters to block traffic.
More:Protesters in Dallas chant, “No justice, No peace!”
The Dallas Morning Sun reported that Smith’s group said he had been “trying to start a revolution” in Memphis when the killing occurred.
Earlier in the day, protesters had also marched through Downtown Dallas