Fort Worth

Fort Worth Police Take Knee to Dissolve Tense Confrontation

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Protesters and police in Fort Worth were engaged in another tense confrontation Monday night until a remarkable scene changed everything -- officers agreeing to protesters' demands to kneel with them.

In the end, police chief Ed Kraus prayed with protesters who had faced off with officers, diffusing the growing showdown.

The drama started when officers moved in to enforce an 8 p.m. curfew as about 100 protesters refused to leave the historic Tarrant County Courthouse.

Police pulled up in a pickup with a loudspeaker and ordered demonstrators to leave because of the curfew.

Protesters pulled out a bullhorn of their own and yelled back, telling officers they had no intention of going home.

As more officers moved in and the situation grew tenser, protesters offered to leave if officers would get on their knees with them.

"Just take a knee," the protesters shouted.

Remarkably, a number of officers on bicycles in front did just that.

In an instant, the tension gave way to handshakes and hugs between officers and protesters.

About that time, possibly believing the officers in front were in danger, a number of tactical officers ran up and the crowd scattered.

About two dozen remained and there was another showdown for about an hour until both sides agreed to simply go home.

Officers backed up and exited the scene first, and demonstrators kept their word and disappeared.

The drama Monday night was a stark contrast to what happened one night earlier.

Fifty people were arrested Sunday night after protesters clashed with police on the West 7th Street Bridge. Police said officers fired tear gas and flashbangs after they were targeted by frozen water bottles and pyrotechnics.

Several hundred protesters marched through downtown earlier Monday, hours after Mayor Betsy Price announced an 8 p.m. curfew.

In a show of solidarity Monday night, police officers in Fort Worth took a knee, shook hands and hugged a large group of protesters.
After an hours-long face-off in Fort Worth Sunday night, police officers and state troopers used tear gas to clear protesters off the West 7th Street Bridge.

Marches Friday and Saturday ended peacefully.

The citywide nighttime curfew -- the first anyone can remember -- will remain in place until Thursday.

Tuesday, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Chief Ed Kraus will join Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and Police Chief Renee Hall in a joint press conference with Gov. Greg Abbott. The group will discuss the violence at protests.

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