SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Protesters gathered despite the heat at Park Central Square in Downtown Springfield on Saturday, June 6, 2020, calling for justice for George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him at the neck.
The city of Springfield estimated that about 2,500 people attended this protest that included a peaceful march to city hall, but it all started at Park Central Square where citizens laid out their concerns and talked about solutions.
The march began down Park Central East, went North on Benton across the Martin Luther King bridge up to Chestnut Expressway before heading back South on Boonville back to the square.
Protesters say it was encouraging to see such a large turnout for the march itself and reforming police practices.
One protester says, “look at all this community out here. This ain’t just a black thing. This is a people thing.”
“What do you want? Justice. When do you want it? Now.”
Today’s protest gave Deidre Bennett hope.
Bennett says, “It’s just now getting to the point where there are people of every color. Even people from different countries that are even in support of what we’re trying to do here.”
Despite concerns, the protest and march were passionate and peaceful.
Springfield Police say the event went very well, and they are thankful for the communities’ cooperation before, during, and after the protest. There were two arrests made, neither was related to the protest. Police say the first arrest was an intoxicated male who assaulted a police officer. The second arrest was for Peace Disturbance.
Tomorrow night a candle lighting ceremony is planned in honor of George Floyd and anyone else killed due to police brutality. The group plans spread candles around the square in Downtown Springfield.
UPDATE: Protest have concluded and roadways are back open.
Park Central Square is closed to traffic along with some of the surrounding roads, so please avoid that area and find a different route. Due to the heat, the march is expected to begin early.
Here is a list of all the roads that will be closed starting at 4:15:
- Park Central Square South St from Park Central Square to McDaniel St
- Park Central West to Patton Ave Park Central East & St. Louis Street to Kimbrough
- Kimbrough over MLK Bridge to Chestnut Expy
- Chestnut Expy to Boonville
- Boonville from Chestnut to Park Central Square.
- Olive Street between Jefferson Avenue and Campbell Avenue
- McDaniel Street between Jefferson Avenue and Campbell Avenue
Stay with KOLR10 for updates on protests in Springfield.