On Saturday, about two dozen protesters gathered in front of Las Vegas’ Downtown Container Park in reaction to the brutal killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee.
The demonstration was promoted by the Las Vegas chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
🚨This event for tonight is POSTPONED. Instead we encourage people to join in solidarity in front of the Container Park Downtown at 5pm for a Rally for Tyre Nichols. We must stand in solidarity and demand the abolition of these incredibly violent, unjust, and racist systems ✊🏾 https://t.co/vIvtCZNRzi
— Las Vegas Democratic Socialists (@LasVegasDSA) January 28, 2023
The new Sheriff, Kevin McMahill, briefed officers ahead of the anticipated protests on Saturday.
— John Abel (@JAbel_Lvppa) January 29, 2023
In 2020, during BLM protests in Las Vegas, Officer Shay Mikalonis was shot and critically wounded. Now paralyzed, Mikalonis paid a rare visit to Metro’s Convention Center Area Command on Tuesday.
Shortly after 5 p.m., Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers spoke with protesters gathering in front of the park.
At 5:37 p.m. the group left the staging area to march the downtown Fremont Street area. Demonstrators chanted:
“Whose street? Our street! Whose street? Our street! No justice! No peace! No justice! No peace! No racist police!”
One protester’s sign read: “Cops and Klan Go Hand in Hand.”
Protesters left behind sidewalk chalk markings with anti-police rhetoric. Some of the words written were vulgar, in front of the family friendly park with a large play structure installation, such as “F*** 12” and “ACAB” which means “All Cops Are Bastards.”
There was a delay in the nightly “awakening of the praying mantis” art display, which is traditionally signaled with a drum circle at sundown, when the mantis comes to life, moving to music and shooting fire from its antennae. Security at the Downtown Container Park cited safety concerns while the protesters staged for their march, including the risk of having open flame occurring at the same time as the protest.
But, while there was no drum circle held, seemingly cancelled due to the demonstration, the mantis did come to life and shoot its flaming antennae to the jam of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.”
Then protesters were seen traveling back down Fremont Street toward the Container Park area at 6:11 p.m. At this time, it appears that the Vegas demonstrations were mostly uneventful.