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Police make dozens of arrests following night of emotional, dangerous protests across Miami-Dade County

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Tense protests across the nation over the death of George Floyd have started to hit home for residents of South Florida.

Floyd's death at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota prompted chaos on the streets of Downtown Miami and surrounding areas Saturday, leaving an aftermath of damage and destruction that included businesses, private property and police vehicles.

Miami-Dade police had already made 38 arrests before midnight as a result of several protests, the department announced on Twitter.

According to Miami-Dade Corrections, a total of 57 people were arrested between Saturday night and Sunday morning, with the most common charge being curfew violation.

Of those arrested, officials said a small amount came from out of state. Some of the out-of-towners had home addresses listed in Minnesota, Michigan and New York.

The numbers haven’t been broken down as to where the arrests take place.

Some of those arrested at protests are expected to face charges such as arson, trespassing and criminal mischief.

Protests around Downtown Miami started peaceful but quickly turned chaotic when looters began raiding the shops at Bayside Marketplace.

As Local 10's Ian Margol described Saturday night, the aftermath looked like a hurricane had come through, with windows broken, property damaged and trash cans and potted plans knocked over.

It was a similar scene in many parts of Downtown Miami, with damage to businesses and even parts of the Miami-Dade College Wolfson Campus.

PHOTOS: Miami protest against police brutality turns destructive

Not far away at City of Miami Police headquarters, tear gas and rubber bullets were used on protestors who clashed with officers outside the building.

Several people were seen in handcuffs during this dangerous exchange, which saw unoccupied police cars set on fire, and others left with smashed windows and covered in graffiti.

Officers remained on guard outside of the building until 8 a.m. Sunday.

"I stand with all who seek justice for George Floyd and for anyone who has been mistreated by abuse of power," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. "We must all stand up against this injustice, but we must do it peacefully. Violence is never the answer."

Gimenez, who posted a video overnight, said officials were hoping to avoid what played out Saturday night. The mayor added that much of the damage seemed to be caused by a smaller group that was intent on creating chaos.

“Most of today’s protests have been peaceful, but unfortunately some agitators, who we believe are from outside our county, have injected violence into what should have been a moral call for justice,” he said.

Curfews that will be enforced on Sunday are in the City of Miami (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.), Miami-Dade County (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), and Hallandale Beach (11 p.m. to 6 a.m.).


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