Protesters block roads in St. Petersburg as leaders meet to address public concerns

Protests resumed Tuesday in St. Petersburg after officers were forced to arrest people who they say were trying to incite violence the night before.

First Avenue North was shut down Tuesday while demonstrators marched from the St. Pete Police Department toward downtown.

Police said most people were being peaceful. However, police had to make arrests Monday night.

Investigators say agitators drown out the message of what could be otherwise peaceful protests, after several were arrested Monday night, allegedly in possession of materials used to make Molotov cocktails.

“We mourn, we grieve, we are angry we are upset.” Father Stephan Brown with St. Joseph Catholic Church said.

Brown was to meet with the mayor and chief of police to have a conversation on moving forward.

Jordan Parker is in the church’s work program and says that conversation has to be focused on progress but without violence.

“Ain’t nothing going to change if people throwing rocks and stuff like that,” Parker told FOX 13 News.

Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted a picture of himself taking a knee with protesters, who are calling for justice following the death of George Floyd.

Community leaders do in other cities have made similar gestures, siding with peaceful demonstrations.