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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As the large crowd of protesters, estimated at 500 people followed by another 150 vehicles, moved through downtown, two Youngstown police cruisers became pinned in.
It happened at the intersection of Market and Boardman streets at around 7:30 p.m.
As Youngstown police officers came to support the officers in the cruisers, they were also surrounded by protesters who chanted in their faces.
After about 10 minutes, the two cruisers found a way out, and the officers pulled back.
Protesters headed up Market Street Bridge and onto I-680, shutting down both sides of it for about 20 minutes.
Community activist Derek McDowell kept everything under control and helped break things up on I-680 to get traffic moving.
“We’ve been out here all day long. We’re making our voices be heard. We continue to still need to be heard, but we have to respect some things that come down,” said McDowell.
At around 8:35 p.m., the protest moved from I-680, opening it back up. The crowd moved back up the entrance ramp and toward Market Street. Police have blocked off Market Street Bridge.
Federal Protective Services has Market Street into downtown blocked off.
With the mayor’s curfew at 8:30 p.m., police gave everyone about a half an hour to break up.
At around 9 p.m., police started making arrests.
A SWAT team has gathered downtown and officers are beginning to make arrests near Commerce Street. The larger part of the crowd has dispersed. It is unknown exactly how many people were arrested or their charges.
A large police presence is in the downtown area, breaking up protesters and making arrests.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol SWAT team is present as well as the Mahoning Valley Crisis Response team and Austintown police.
A pair of CRT members escorted a man to his truck on Commerce Street and told him to leave the downtown while Austintown police were joking with an elderly woman at Commerce Street and Symphony Place.
At the WRTA station, one woman was arrested after a chase by several officers after someone punched a police officer.
The man was on the ground and cuffed, then teased one officer for running slow. The officer laughed.
The man asked if he could move. He was told he could and that he could sit up if he wanted. It’s unclear if he was tazed or tackled.
As of 10 p.m., downtown Youngstown is quiet in comparison to the day’s events, which started at 11:30 a.m. with the First Presbyterian Church.
First Ward Councilman Julius Oliver wanted to make it clear that the earlier event did not connect with events later in the day.