Crowds Clash With Police in Worcester

Protesters lit off fireworks and set small fires after a peaceful demonstration for racial equality turned violent overnight in Worcester

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A strong smell of tear gas lingered in the Worcester air early Tuesday morning and spent canisters littered the ground - remnants of crowds clashing with police in protests overnight.

Nineteen people were arrested across a series of disturbances in the city as protesters lit off fireworks and set small fires, which were put out by police, as a demonstration over the death of George Floyd turned violent Monday night.

At one point in the confrontation, there were at least a dozen police cruisers at the intersection of Main and Hammond streets. A shoe store about a mile from the demonstration spot was ransacked.

One police cruiser parked near the corner of Main and Hammond was surrounded by a crowd, at which point the officer in the vehicle called for backup and ran from his car on foot for his own safety.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts State Police responded to rioters in Providence, Rhode Island, who set a police car aflame during a similar protest Monday night.

The violence and vandalism followed a peaceful demonstration in the city.

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