BOSTON (WPRI) ─ The FBI has opened an investigation into the vandalism and looting that occurred in Boston Sunday night.
Earlier in the day, thousands of protesters marched peacefully through the streets of Boston and ultimately gathered for a rally outside the State House.
It was one of many protests throughout the country demanding justice for George Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer kneeled on his neck while he was handcuffed and pleading that he couldn’t breathe.
The protest took a turn later in the evening and into the overnight hours, when throngs of people began vandalizing city property, including nearly two dozen police cruisers, and looting businesses.
The Boston Police Department confirmed Monday that 53 people were arrested on charges ranging from breaking and entering to malicious destruction of property. Nine police officers were injured and approximately 21 cruisers were destroyed.
“To the criminals and cowards that tarnished that night’s peaceful protest, I expect your day in court will come soon,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday. “The destruction of property, the looting, the criminal attempts to injure law enforcement are unacceptable.”
The FBI said they are “committed to apprehending and charging violent instigators who are exploiting legitimate, peaceful protests and engaging in violations of federal law.”
“The continued violence, potential threat to life and destruction of property across the United States interferes with the rights and safety of First Amendment-protected peaceful demonstrators, as well as all other citizens,” the statement continued.
In an effort to identify and charge the FBI is accepting tips, as well as photos and videos depicting the crimes being committed online. Tips are also being accepted by phone at 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324).