HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – What started as a peaceful rally against police brutality hosted by the NAACP in Downtown Huntsville ended with tear gas being used to disperse protesters at the Madison County Courthouse square.
The NAACP rally ended at 6:30 p.m., but the majority of the crowd chose to march from Big Spring Park East to the courthouse.
About 45 minutes later, around 7:15 p.m. roughly half of those protesters remained on the square, holding signs and chanting. That’s when law enforcement officers first told them to leave.
Around 8 p.m., authorities deployed several different riot control techniques including audio dispersion, then tear gas canisters, and rubber bullets. Around the same time, the massive Huntsville Police and Madison County Sheriff’s Office presence was joined by at least a dozen State Trooper units.
Law enforcement officials broke up the remaining couple dozen protesters still lingering in Big Spring Park just after 9 p.m., about an hour after the first tear gas canister was used.
Huntsville police confirmed they made over 20 arrests during the protest and more could be pending. Huntsville Police Lieutenant Michael Johnson said one HPD officer was injured during the protest after something was thrown at his head.
One business downtown was damaged, a window was broken at the Kaffeeklatsch at Clinton Street and Jefferson Street.
City employees got an early start prepping the courthouse square for protestors and businesses around the square were encouraged to close up shop well before the NAACP rally was slated to begin.