Downtown Miami protest disrupts traffic on I-95, I-395, Brickell, Biscayne

FBI warned Miami Police of vandalism threats in downtown Friday night

MIAMI – Dozens of protesters met Friday afternoon at the Torch of Friendship at Bayfront Park and marched for hours through downtown Miami and Brickell.

Protesters march on a ramp from Miami Avenue toward Interstate 95 southbound on Friday evening in downtown Miami. (SKY 10)

About 7:45 p.m., the protesters marched on Interstate 95′s southbound ramp from Miami Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard.

About 8 p.m., there was a standoff between protesters and Florida Highway Patrol troopers who were wearing riot gear. Dozens of Miami police officers and two SWAT team vehicles arrived before protesters retreated without incident about 8:20 p.m.

Dozens of protesters blocked the Brickell Avenue Bridge traffic on Friday evening in Miami. (SKY 10)

Before marching on I-95 and blocking the Brickell Avenue Bridge, they marched peacefully to the Miami-Dade County Courthouse in downtown Miami. Some of their chants included “Defund the police!”

Black Lives Matter protesters meet outside Miami-Dade County Courthouse Friday afternoon in downtown Miami. (SKY10)

As a precaution, Florida Highway Patrol troopers closed I-95 in both directions from Florida State Road 112 to U.S. 1. They also closed Interstate 395′s eastbound lanes in downtown Miami.

Protesters marched to Brickell City Center and to Brickell Avenue and Fifth Street.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers shutdown Interstate 95 Friday in downtown Miami. (Local 10 News Share)

Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina asked businesses to close early amid the ongoing protest that FBI Miami Special Agents feared could escalate into violence.

Federal agents, Colina and Miami City Mayor Francis Suarez are on high alert over threats of vandalism on social media.

6:20 p.m. update

6 p.m. update

5:20 p.m. update

5:15 p.m. update

5 p.m. update

About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.