Tennessee

Protesters cleared from I-40 bridge over Mississippi

Black Lives Matter protesters gather on the Hernando Desoto Bridge in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday, July 10, 2016. Protesters angry over police killings of black people occupied the key bridge over the Mississippi River, blocking an interstate highway for hours. (Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP)

Black Lives Matter protesters gather on the Hernando Desoto Bridge in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday, July 10, 2016. Protesters angry over police killings of black people occupied the key bridge over the Mississippi River, blocking an interstate highway for hours. (Jim Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of protesters angry over police killings of black people occupied a key bridge over the Mississippi River Sunday night, blocking an interstate highway for hours before officers moved them off.

Traffic on Interstate 40 stopped in both directions after Black Lives Matter protesters marched onto the bridge. Police in squad cars tried to stop them, but several hundred had already made their way up the ramp, and the crowd swelled to more than 1,000.

Interim police director Michael Rallings locked arms in solidarity with people marching off the bridge. Several hundred remained until riot police with shields slowly pushed them off.

Earlier Sunday police kept watch on about 100 people honoring Ku Klux Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest in the city park where he is buried.