A peaceful vigil and protest march from Nubian Square to the State House organized by young black people turned heavily white and violent as night fell. As the protest dispersed from the Common, crowds began streaming towards Downtown Crossing, throwing bottles and then bricks at police officers and cruisers.
On Summer Street outside Macy's one Boston officer needed to be taken to the hospital after and M-80 went off right next to him. People also set off fireworks at Tremont and Boylston streets. Another officer was hit with a brick on Tremont Street near Suffolk Law School.
Skylight Jewelers on School Street, across from Old City Hall, was smashed into and looted. A similar scene played out at the Walgreens on Washington Street and later at the Marshalls, also on Washington Street, and the CVS at Washington and Milk. Several storefronts on Temple Place were smashed.
Looting eventually extended along Newbury and Boylston streets, including the Saks Fifth Avenue in the Prudential Center, the CVS, Hermes, H&M and Talbots stores on Boylston Street, stores in Copley Place and the Uggs store on Newbury Street.
Several cruisers had their windows smashed in, some while officers were still inside. A Transit Police officer was surrounded in his cruiser at Beacon and Charles streets as a crowd smashed his windows and rendered his vehicle unusable. Just as Boston cops arrived to relieve him, a similar incident happened to anther Transit cop on Beacon in front of the State House.
One Boston cruiser was set on fire in front of the Beantown Pub on Tremont Street; a WHDH car was similarly torched at Washington and Essex streets.
Police fired tear gas at the crowds several times both on the Common and along Tremont Street.
Some 30 National Guard members were bused into town. They were originally supposed to link up with a State Police contingent and sweep down Washington Street, but were diverted to clear a path for Boston firefighters trying to get to a set fire at Washington and Essex streets. Officers from Brookline, Revere, Everett, Medford and other suburbs were eventually deployed downtown to assist BPD.
The MBTA shut Downtown Crossing, Park Street, Arlington, Boylston, Prudential and Charles/MGH stations and halted all downtown bus service.