San Antonio mayor questions police use of projectiles on protesters, media at Alamo

Fourth night of George Floyd protests end with police firing rubber, wooden bullets

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he is inquiring about projectiles that were used by police on protesters and media members Tuesday night at the Alamo.

SAN ANTONIO – Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he is inquiring about projectiles that were used by police on protesters and media members Tuesday night at the Alamo.

For the fourth day in San Antonio, people marched through downtown protesting racial inequality and the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The demonstrations were largely peaceful throughout the day on Tuesday.

Before 11 p.m., a group came to a faceoff with police officers near Alamo Plaza, which is under nightly curfew after 8:30 p.m. through this week.

According to videos posted on social media and reporters who were at the scene, an organizer was instructing the group of protesters to put their hands up, his back to the officers. As he is leading the crowd, feet in front of the line of police, officers can be seen opening fire.

San Antonio police later tweeted that they were trying to disperse “unruly crowds causing damage.” Police said that officers were “attacked with glass bottles” and that they responded with pepper balls, smoke, wooden and rubber balls.

Protesters weren’t the only ones hit by the projectiles.

Spectrum San Antonio reporter Lena Blietz said she was hit in the leg while covering the protests.

MySA reporter Mark Dunphy tweeted a picture of a wooden bullet that struck him in the leg.

Both shared videos they were filming as the incident unfolded.

After the news began to spread on social media, Nirenberg responded to a reporter’s tweet questioning if he was “okay with” police officers shooting members of the media with non-lethal projectiles.

“No, I’m not. I am asking for more information on these projectiles,” he wrote around midnight.

Several journalists in San Antonio have suffered minor injuries in the four days of the protests, including from KSAT.

Around the country, police officers have attacked journalists who were covering the protests against police brutality more than 100 times, according to Neiman Lab.

This story will be updated as more details are available.

READ MORE PROTEST COVERAGE FROM SAN ANTONIO:

Across the country people are protesting racial injustice after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Here in San Antonio, protesters marched Saturday night. Police say a separate group of people incited destruction, damaging dozens of business downtown.

About the Authors:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. Previously, he worked at the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Observer.