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Emotions boil over during fifth night of Memphis protests, tear gas used on protesters

Protests stayed peaceful for several hours in Downtown Memphis but turned to clashes between protesters and police after dark

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For hours, people protested all throughout Downtown Memphis for the fifth straight night.

A planned peaceful protest in downtown ended early without incident but a splinter group kept going. Hundreds headed to the I-55 bridge to shut it down by protest but police blocked them several times.

As the night went on things intensified as emotions boiled over between protesters and law enforcement. Smaller groups of protesters were broken up and it was accelerated after tear gas was used to disperse one crowd.

Despite protesting peacefully the previous four nights, the National Guard was also deployed overnight, staged by city hall and on Riverside.

A situation that unfolded at Front Street and Court Avenue around midnight was captured by Local 24 News cameras. A group of protesters were walking down Front Street when they witnessed a man get detained by police and grew agitated. The events led up to the arrest are not clear at this time.

Watch our live coverage as things unfolded just before 1 a.m.:

Protesters swarmed the intersection as the man was detained as they verbally clashed with officers. More officers in riot gear and an horseback responded to the intersection. Officers on horseback ran through the crowd, knocking one man to the ground, to disperse the crowd.

As the protesters backed up into Memphis Park and grew quiet, officers went over the car speaker ordering people to leave or they would use "necessary force." After multiple warnings, riot police ran at the crowd and took several people into custody while most ran away.

Most of the protests were done by 1 a.m. but multiple protesters and incident bystanders at nearby businesses reported officers were threatening to arrest them on site for being outside, despite no curfew order being issued.

At the end of the night, windows were smashed at Winfield's, Flight Restaurant, Courtyard by Marriott and Walgreens all located on Main Street.

It's unknown how many people were arrested overnight but multiple people were seen taken into custody throughout the downtown area. MPD has not said if any officers or protesters were injured during the night.

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