(MONET) — Protesters have hit the streets nationwide, including in Missouri, to rally against a suspected police brutality death this week in Minnesota. The demonstrations, drawing hundreds in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia today, are in response to video captured showing a white police officer pinning George Floyd’s neck down with his knee for about eight minutes. The African-American man later died of his injuries.
Floyd’s death has sparked turmoil on the streets of downtown Minneapolis – from violence to looting to torching a police station. Days after the casualty, officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder.
The unrest in the Twin Cities is taking on a similar feel to events in Ferguson after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. Brown, who was unarmed, was shot to death by then-police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson is white and Brown was African-American.
In Kansas City, protesters have been heard chanting “No justice, no peace” and “I can’t breathe” as they line the area by J.C. Nichols Memorial Foundation. Some have been waving “Black Lives Matter” signs – a slogan often found during the 2014 Ferguson riots. The Kansas City Star reports some officers have threatened to use pepper spray on individuals who do not leave the street.
Kansas City protesters plan to return Saturday for round two.
KRCG-TV in Jefferson City reports protests in Columbia have been peaceful. In solidarity, they marched in front of the Columbia Police Department this morning – with some attendees holding signs like those in Kansas City.
Many protesters have been seen exercising their First Amendment rights while also wearing masks to protect themselves against COVID-19.