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Police Arrest 23 During Boston Protests

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts State Police said they have made 23 arrests so far as a result of ongoing protests Saturday in Boston.

The protests began peacefully but tensions began to escalate once the crowd, which began its march outside the State House, moved to the Nashua Street Jail.

"In response to the protests today in Boston, the State Police have currently made twenty-three arrests; 15 men, 8 women. All have been charged with disorderly conduct," state police said just before 4:30 p.m.

Protesters outside the State House. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ)

State police said at about 12:15 p.m. that Charles Street to Beacon Street is closed, through Beacon to Charles Street is still open to traffic. Delays are expected in the area.

By just before 1 p.m., demonstrators left the area of the State House and began marching down Tremont Street.

Protesters made their way through City Hall Plaza, and are reportedly marching towards Nashua Street Jail, according to WBZ-TV's Paul Burton.

Brandy Artez, who is leading march, told Burton that protesters want to see body cameras worn on all police officers, a topic that has brought mixed reaction around the state and country.

Protesters move down Tremont Street in Boston. (WBZ-TV)

Protests have taken place several times in recent weeks in Boston and around the country after grand juries did not indict following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Earlier this month hundreds of protesters started their march at the Christmas Tree lighting on Boston Common, causing traffic backups as they walked through major roads and staged "die-ins" at various locations.

Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben said Friday night in a statement that troopers would work in conjunction with Boston police "to ensure that the rights of all citizens are preserved and that the area remains safe for everyone."

During recent marches, protesters have attempted to access major highways such as the Mass Pike and Interstate 93.

Police blocked off the entrance to I-93. (WBZ-TV)

On Saturday a large group of officers blocked the ramp to Interstate 93, though the protesters did not attempt to get on the highway and walked past with no confrontations.

The demonstrators then marched towards TD Garden, where the Bruins were hosting the Ottawa Senators in a home game.

Demonstrators march past TD Garden. (WBZ-TV)

Police blocked off the entrance to the area surrounding TD Garden on Causeway Street.

A banner being carried at the front of the group said "From Ferguson To NYC Across Harvard And The Nation" on the upper half of the black fabric and "Shut It Down" in large white letters on the lower portion.

Protesters staged a die-in upon reaching a police barricade. (WBZ-TV)

Upon reaching a police barrier near another I-93 ramp, protesters were face to face with officers in the area of Martha's Way.

Participants staged a "die-in," laying on the ground for several minutes and remained in the area for about 20 minutes.

There were significant traffic backups throughout the city as a result of the demonstration.

After leaving the area of Martha's Way, protesters were allowed to march to Nashua Street Jail.

Protesters Nashua Street Jail
A prisoner shows support for demonstrators at Nashua Street Jail. (Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ)

There was a heavy police presence near the jail.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe reported that prisoners could be seen pounding on their windows in support of the demonstration.

At about 2:30 p.m., tensions began to rise as protesters and police officers were face to face outside the jail.

Police and protesters were face to face as several people were taken into custody. (WBZ-TV)

Several people could be seen being taken into police custody using plastic handcuffs.

State police issued the following statement on Saturday afternoon following the standoff outside Nashua Street Jail:

Massachusetts State Police and our partner agencies deployed in Boston continue to conduct crowd control duties and prevent demonstrators from trespassing onto state highways. Several demonstrators who failed to comply with the law despite orders to do so have been taken into custody in the area of Nashua Street, near the ramps to Route 93. We continue to monitor protesters to protect the rights and safety of protest participants and the general public alike.

The crowd moved on from Nashua Street and, according to state police, made their way to Tremont and Park Streets.

Protesters began to disperse after 4 p.m. and by about 4:45 p.m. all officers were dismissed from the area.

"Great job again by the men and women of the BPD safeguarding & supporting today's peaceful demonstration," the Boston Police Department tweeted on behalf of Commission William Evans.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kim Tunnicliffe Reports


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