WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A peaceful demonstration in downtown West Palm Beach Tuesday afternoon prompted a heavy police presence throughout the city.
The protesters marched across the city starting at 3 p.m. and walked along the downtown waterfront just after 7 p.m. They then stopped at the foot of the Royal Park Bridge.
The protesters continued to chant "hands up, don't shoot" while a line of deputies and police blocked the group from crossing the bridge to Palm Beach. The drawbridge was also put up to prevent anyone from crossing onto the island.
Just before 7:30 p.m., the group then turned west and headed along Okeechobee Boulevard again before the march concluded around 8:30 p.m.
Protesters have kneeled at the base of the Flagler Bridge in West Palm Beach chanting “Black Lives Matter” as police form a wall blocking the bridge onto Palm Beach. @WPTV @FOX29WFLX pic.twitter.com/bHkCUG6V9H— Ryan Hughes (@HughesWPTV) June 2, 2020
At times, the Florida Highway Patrol blocked all of the Interstate 95 entrance and exit ramps from Okeechobee Boulevard because of the protest.
Earlier in the day, the town of Palm Beach said there was the possibly that a demonstration could occur at the town hall in Palm Beach.
The town posted on their website that police were made aware that the protest could occur at 3 p.m. However, a WPTV crew at the scene never spotted any demonstrators.
Some businesses in the area had placed plywood boards up outside their establishments.
The department said earlier in the day they were monitoring the situation and warned drivers there could be traffic delays on the island.
Police spokesman Michael Ogrodnick posed on Facebook that police will update the community as more information becomes available.
In the event of a demonstration, police advise residents to stay at home and do not travel to the area.
“Rest assured, we have plans in place to protect the community,” said Ogrodnick in the post.