weather icon Clear

Pro-Palestinian rally in downtown Las Vegas gets ‘slightly out of hand,’ police say

Updated May 29, 2024 - 1:01 pm

A rally involving a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators who were protesting the war in Gaza Tuesday night in downtown Las Vegas got “slightly out of hand,” and led to two arrests, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

It wasn’t immediately clear what charges the people arrested were facing.

The group of about 85 arrived at the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse courthouse at 333 S. Las Vegas Boulevard “to protest the destruction occurring in Rafah, which is a city in Gaza,” police said.

Las Vegas police said Wednesday that they were aware of the protest, and that they had coordinated with protest organizers.

“It did get slightly out of hand for a bit but officers got things under control,” Lt. Patricia Heldt said Tuesday.

Footage posted on social media showed a fracas between police and demonstrators at the Fremont Street Experience.

Organizing groups posted a statement Wednesday morning in which they said the protest was infiltrated by outsiders, “whose sole intent was to provoke and incite violence,” and what they described as officers’ “disturbing use of excessive force and brutalization.”

The statement, which was posted on Instagram, was signed by Nevadans for Palestinian Liberation, UNLV’s Students for Justice in Palestine and Fifth Sun Project.

“As protesters attempted to de-escalate the tense situation, Metro Police stepped in with an unbalanced and aggressive approach,” the statement said. “Their actions clearly made our community feel unsafe, attacked, and unprotected, further dividing us and escalating the conflict.”

Efforts to reach organizers for additional comment were not immediately successful.

Police said Wednesday that they weren’t aware of any counter-demonstrators at the protest. Las Vegas police made one arrest, and school police made the other.

Review-Journal reporter Ricardo Torres-Cortez contributed to this report. Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
New country music fest coming to Vegas

Saddle up Vegas country fans, a new fest is riding into town this fall. The Giddy Up Music Festival will be city’s first country fest since 1 October.