Updated: June 01, 2020 09:36 PM
Created: June 01, 2020 06:11 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A small group of rioters took to the streets of Albuquerque Sunday night after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. The rioters smashed out windows, started fires in streets and shot at police.
Organizers of the Sunday march said those who turned to violence and vandalism were not part of their group.
"I think we want to move away from black and brown folks being violent or aggressors. Like, that's not our thing. We just want to be heard, we just want to start a movement and open up a conversation,” said Hossanna Scott, an organizer.
Scott, alongside Kieran Freeman, had a hand in organizing the peaceful protest. When they saw around 1,000 people gather downtown, the thought that things could get out of hand crossed their minds.
"We thought it could go really one of two ways. But, we were really dedicated to keeping the peace and I feel like the community really came together. I think it was a really beautiful moment for all of us,” Scott said.
During the march, a few acts of vandalism were witnessed, but the majority of protestors were not destroying or defacing property.
Later, after most of the protestors had dispersed, a small group returned downtown to cause damage.
"That is not a part, necessarily part our movement that we did earlier. But stay vigilant, stay safe, thank you for supporting, but if anything goes on after that—that's not what we're all about,” Scott said.
"We love our community. We want to see our community do great. We want to help it be great. We want to be the change in our community. So I don't like to seeing, local businesses boarded up and stuff and that's not what we stand for,” she added.
The group’s message is, “Injustice anywhere is injustice anywhere.” While they said unfair policing against black people in Albuquerque is not as bad compared to other cities, they still want to see changes in the system.
"The overall problem we want to address is the change that needs to be effected in our system of policing black communities specifically,” Freeman said.
The organizers said they were thankful to APD for allowing them to march peacefully.
KOB 4 asked the organizers if they had considered holding their demonstrations earlier in the day to dissuade violence at night, but they said it’s too hot outside, which is why they’ll continue to try to wrap things up before it gets too late.
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