BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Windows were smashed, an American flag was burned, and the Wells Fargo building was spray painted in downtown Birmingham Sunday night as what started Sunday afternoon as a peaceful protest turned into unrest.
At 10:15 p.m. Sunday night Birmingham police told protesters in Linn Park they had 15 minutes to leave the area.
Some started to move. But as the crowd left, some of the protesters shattered doors , threw rocks and burned a flag off 20th Street.
The officers gave the order to move a few minutes after protesters started a fire near a building in Linn Park. They also shattered at least one window at one of the buildings.
The fire and the damaged window happened about an hour after protesters pulled down a statue and damaged a Confederate monument in Linn Park.
The protesters pulled down the top part of the statue of Charles Linn by tying a rope and using manpower and a truck to pull it down.
The protesters defaced the Confederate monument, chipped away part of the concrete and pulled the wooden barrier off the base.
The protesters were in the park listening to a speech by comedian Jermaine “FunnyMaine” Johnson before some of them started working to remove the statue.
Protesters climbed up and tied a rope on the statue and started pulling while people in crowd yelled, “Take this s*** down!”
Johnson and others told the crowd the statue needed to come down because it is a racist reminder of the past.
Birmingham police were in the park.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin came to the park to ask protesters to stand down.
The damage started about an hour after the 'Birmingham, the World is Watching” rally to serve as example of non-violent protest against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.