Photo: KSTP/Jim O'Connell.
Photo: KSTP/Jim O'Connell.
Updated: May 27, 2020 07:43 PM
Created: May 27, 2020 07:14 PM
Peaceful protests continued on Wednesday at the corner of E. 38th Street and Chicago Avenue where George Floyd died. The community shared pain, grief and anger toward the Minneapolis Police Department.
“This is about human rights, the ability of us to be seen as human beings, to be able to live,” said Rev. Brian Herron. “If you're arresting me, then detain and arrest me but you don’t have the right to kill me. […] The police are not the judge, jury and the executioners.”
Community leaders called for justice and the arrest of the four officers involved in Floyd’s death.
“They should be charged and arrested because that's what would happen with anybody else,” said Herron. “The community is enraged, everybody is upset and we need healing but we also need results that say we matter and that our lives matter."
City Council member Andrea Jenkins joined the demonstration, echoing those calls.
“I’m calling on [Hennepin County Attorney] Mike Freeman to charge them so that their other colleagues, their former colleagues, can arrest them,” said Jenkins. “They should be sitting in jail right now.”
Jenkins represents the area where Floyd died and described the trauma the community is experiencing. Jenkins believes the officers used excessive force.
“There was no imminent harm for the community, for the officers or for anybody that was involved except for George Floyd,” she said.
The memorial for the 46-year-old continued to grow throughout the day. People of all ages showed up at the intersection to drop off flowers and cards.
“It’s a tragedy that we have to live with this stuff and we have to continue to live with it,” said Emmett Dysart, who came to the demonstration with his grandson. “If we don’t stop it right now, that is what I’m concerned about, my grandson’s future.”
On the back of his grandson Elijah’s shirt were the words “my life matters.”
“I don’t like how people are thinking like they can just do that, he couldn’t breathe,” said Elijah. “I need a change, a change for world and government.”
The crowd chanted, prayed and listened to music together.
It was a very different atmosphere than the demonstration at the Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct on Tuesday night where tensions boiled over between police and protesters.
“I was really sad and disappointed that it resulted in the destruction of property as well the use of force against our community members,” said Jenkins. “I just really am praying for peace and calm.”
When asked if she felt that the use of chemical agents and reported use of rubber bullets to disperse the crowd was appropriate, Jenkins said, “I think we need to take a look at it, evaluate the appropriateness of the response. I have the utmost respect for Chief Arradondo […] I think he takes these decisions with the greatest, utmost of care, concern and respect. It was a very difficult situation last night. It was property being destroyed, there were potential lives being harmed and so you know the job of the police is to serve and protect so I think there can be a strong argument that that there was an element of trying to protect the community.”
Community leaders asked protesters to remain calm on Wednesday.
“We have to be patient, we have to understand that it is a process and make sure these protesters and rallies stay peaceful, period,” said Trahern Pollard, with We Push for Peace. “What happened last night can't happen again.”
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