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'Pittsburghers Unite Against Racism, Against Hate': Downtown Protests Were Peaceful, Until They Weren't

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It started as a message from a group of fed-up people that are tired of police brutality.

That message was being delivered peacefully before, somehow, taking a violent turn.

When the demonstrations started around 2:30 Saturday afternoon, things were peaceful, Pittsburgh joined the chorus heard all around the country: "Hands up, don't shoot."

A sea of thousands came out to protest, fueled by the pain felt from the death of George Floyd who died from excessive force by an officer in Minnesota.

That crowd is tired.

"It's been happening for years, Johnny Gamish here in Pittsburgh, Antwon Rose here in Pittsburgh, and many others all over the country," said one demonstrator. "George Floyd is just the latest."

For hours, they marched through the streets, passionate, peaceful, and proud to picket against police brutality.

"It's been really encouraging for me to see for myself and so many of my African-American peers using this a time to speak out and not be silenced," said Bryant Andrews.

"Pittsburgh has been a place of love and unity when the shootings went down at the synagogue, and other places, Pittsburghers unite against racism, against hate," said Rev. Paul Dordal.

Everything was calm.

Until it wasn't.

One demonstrator brought up the protests over the death of Antwon Rose, they never were anything like what is being seen tonight.

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