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Gov. Stitt deploys National Guard to support police in Tulsa protests

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Posted at 9:41 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 09:41:31-04

TULSA, Okla.  — Governor Kevin Stitt deployed the National Guard to help the Tulsa Police Department control protests Monday night.

Large crowds gathered near Woodland Hills Mall to protest the death of George Floyd who died in police custody.

The group of protesters started forming around 7:30 p.m. near 71st and Memorial. Around 9 p.m., there were reports of breaking glass and police began using pepper spray and tear gas to clear the crowd.

RELATED STORY: Gov. Stitt activates Oklahoma National Guard

Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin told 2 Works for You numerous protesters had been arrested. As of Monday morning, a total of three people had been arrested.

READ MORE: TPD: Several arrested after vandalizing businesses, throwing rocks at officers

In a tweet, the Tulsa County Public Defenders said that it is offering to help protesters who are taken into custody.

Police are urging people to leave the area. Memorial Drive is closed in the area.

Some protesters said they showed up to the demonstration, because they read this protest would happen on social media.

There were also posts warning rioters would burn the mall down.

Because of that, Woodland Hills Mall as well as surrounding businesses closed early Monday. All entrances to the mall are blocked with large garbage trailers.

Despite all that preparation, protesters said they are also here to stand against the recent acts of violence.

“Not exactly to protest or loot, we’re here for anybody who got hurt or is in any danger," said Johnathan Buchanan, a protester. "Any of the people we’ve seen that have been backdooring their way in past the protesters and bullying the police.”

2 Works for You reached out to Mayor G.T. Bynum's office about the demonstrations in Tulsa. Bynum said he supports the governor’s decision to activate the National Guard.

In a tweet, the mayor praised Tulsa police for protecting the crowds right to protest while also preventing property damage.

2 Works for You ended our live coverage of the protests at the request of Tulsa police.

Authorities believe the media's presence is causing protesters to continue to act out, according to SOT Team Commander Captain Eckert with the Tulsa Police Department.

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