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Montreal police arrest 11 after anti-racism protest in wake of George Floyd’s death

Global News logo Global News 2020-06-01 Kalina Laframboise
a close up of a man: A woman clears her face with milk after being pepper-sprayed by police during a demonstration calling for justice in the death of George Floyd and victims of police brutality in Montreal, Sunday, May 31, 2020. © Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press A woman clears her face with milk after being pepper-sprayed by police during a demonstration calling for justice in the death of George Floyd and victims of police brutality in Montreal, Sunday, May 31, 2020.

Montreal police say 11 people have been arrested after tensions flared during an anti-racism protest on Sunday night.

Investigators are looking at 70 cases of alleged mischief, according to police spokesperson Raphael Bergeron. Nine people were arrested in connection with alleged breaking and entering, one person was arrested for alleged assault with a weapon and another was taken into custody for alleged mischief.

"Other arrests may come in the next couple of days," Bergeron said on Monday, adding that the investigation is ongoing.

The march was held to condemn police brutality and demand justice for George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis last week after pleading for air while a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck. Protesters in Montreal took to kneeling in solidarity several times over the course of the night.

READ MORE: George Floyd protest in Montreal declared illegal after violence breaks out

In the wake of Floyd's death, there has been growing unrest across the U.S., with nightly demonstrations in major cities.

In Montreal, thousands of protesters made their way through the city's downtown core peacefully until police say projectiles were thrown at officers who responded with pepper spray and tear gas.

The march was declared illegal, and the situation later deteriorated with clashes of violence between police officers and some people in the streets.

Windows were broken on Ste-Catherine Street, a major commercial artery that runs east-west through the city. Some people also looted stores along the stretch.

READ MORE: U.S. faces new week shaken by violent George Floyd protests, coronavirus pandemic

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante took to social media to condemn looters but said they had "nothing to do" with the march.

"Demonstrating to denounce racism and demanding that things change is noble and necessary," she wrote.

"I can only denounce the actions of the looters who ransacked the shops and have nothing to do with this peaceful demonstration."

— With files from the Canadian Press

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