Photo: KSTP/Jim O'Connell.
Photo: KSTP/Jim O'Connell.
Updated: June 05, 2020 09:25 PM
Created: June 05, 2020 06:51 PM
Thousands of people assembled at U.S. Bank Stadium to remember and honor the life of George Floyd on Friday. They gathered a day after loved ones held a private memorial service for the 46-year-old at North Central University in Minneapolis.
Musicians performed for the crowd, athletes spoke in support of the protesters and the vice president of the NAACP chapter in Minneapolis called for police reform.
The event was organized by 10K Foundation, which is comprised of athletes and community members.
“We’re going to send George Floyd off today in peace, we're going to make sure people know what went on here, the fight that went on here,” said Royce White, a former NBA player and one of the organizers. “I'm proud of the fight that took place here. I'm proud of what Minnesotans did but it's far from over, it's far from over.”
White is calling for Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation, to resign.
“It’s going to be our agenda to try to reform the role of the union, the police union,” he said. “The union has way too much power, it has way too much control. It has way too much authority and threat to the process of justice.”
Lt. Kroll did not respond to our request for comment. Sources, however, have told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he has no intention of resigning.
The group of protesters left U.S. Bank Stadium around 5 p.m. and marched across the city.
“We put our own security measures in place,” said White. “We have made sure that we had a car patrol, as well as bike patrol, we have actual security and other safety plans in place.”
Just days earlier, on Sunday, a semi drove into a group of protestors on 35W who were part of a 10K Foundation march.
“It bothers me that a white male in this country could drive a tanker onto a bridge full of peaceful protestors and put the lives of women and children in danger, all of us in danger, but specifically women and children and be released from jail without so much as a citation,” he said. “And George Floyd lost his life over a counterfeit bill.”
White spoke to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Friday afternoon, ahead of the protest. He was joined by Tay O'Daniel, another community leader. Both said they feel the driver was acting maliciously.
The driver was released from custody earlier this week after state officials said it does not appear he meant to cause harm.
“We’re definitely asking for a full investigation and it needs to be revealed what's going on here because that shouldn't have happened with thousands of people on the bridge,” said O’Daniel.
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