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Miami Pro-Police Demonstrators Face Off With Protesters

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    MIAMI (WFOR) — The call for a change continued for the third weekend in a row in South Florida.

On Sunday, members of a group at a “Law and Order Rally” at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami faced off with demonstrators rallying to end police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Both sides spent several hours trying to get their voices heard. They also exchanged words and then left.

“We support the police. yes, there are things that need to be fixed but overall, we the people support the police. We support Trump,” said Beatriz Viera with the pro-police rally.

Evelio Medina, an organizer of the Law and Order Rally, said he’s part of a group that felt silenced. He believes police officers have been getting a bad rap after protests called for accountability and an end to systemic racism. He also said some protests have gotten out of hand.

“Protect it from what they’re trying to do – vandalism, looting, burning. I mean, you can have ideas and can express them but from ideas expressed in protesting to looting and breaking and loitering, that’s different,” he said.

CBS4 was there Wednesday when a protester used red spray paint on a Christopher Columbus statue before being arrested for vandalism.

A Juan Ponce De Leon Statue out front of Bayside Marketplace was also vandalized last Wednesday. Miami Police arrested seven people and are still searching for two suspects a spokesperson said assaulted one of their officers.

Jose Armas, a resident of Downtown Miami, spent part of his Monday morning trying to clean red graffiti off the Ponce De Leon statue off Biscayne Boulevard.

“It’s not okay what happened to George Floyd. I saw the video, the police killed George Floyd. But, i go to this place many times during the week and this is not okay. I don’t like it,” Armas said as he used a rag to scrub writing off the statue.

Those calling for a change said those causing trouble are getting in the way of the real message.

“There needs to be justice for everyone, black lives, anything, everyone. Unfair treatment shouldn’t be tolerated anymore,” one demonstrator said.

They spelled the word “resist” with American Flags on Biscayne Boulevard.

“We are just asking not to be murdered while in custody. It’s so sad,” a protester said.

After most protestors were gone, about a dozen stayed back. They continued protesting on Biscayne Boulevard that was reopened for traffic.

“A car tried to run over me,” a woman said while crying.

She was left in tears and walked away for a brief checkup by Miami Fire Rescue. She said a driver tried to run her over while she was protesting.

“Whoever moved me out of the way saved my legs,” she said.

Miami police officers asked protestors to move out of the busy street for their safety.

On Monday morning, Miami police and Miami-Dade police confirmed there were no arrests at protests over the weekend.

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