(Missourinet)– About 2,000 people marched along the streets of Jefferson City Monday evening to protest last week’s police brutality death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Participants of all ages and backgrounds chanted phrases like “No justice, no peace. Prosecute the police.”
Mary Chen of Jefferson City says she was happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with people of all colors in the community.
“I think that the most recent racial injustices have just really tipped the scale,” she says. “I think as a white person, I’m finally starting to get it – that it’s going to take all of us being aggressively involved in this movement for racial justice to happen.”
A young black woman named Ari says this is her first protest, “but this is my community.”
“We will come out here every single day if we have to until I don’t have to fear for my life because of the color of my skin.”
After persuasion by the crowd, some officers and soldiers at the protest took a knee in support of ending racial injustice. Nimrod Chapel, President of the Missouri NAACP, says the move was important.
“I think far too often that our peace officers and people in the military get painted with a broad brush – that they’re just opposed to the humanitarian measures – life-preserving measures like don’t put your knee in people’s necks that we’re talking about here, don’t kill people, be good people. And I think anybody with a heart and a professional consciousness is willing to listen to that and I think that they demonstrated that today.”
Protestors then walked a mile and a half to Lincoln University – one of Missouri’s historically black colleges. For nine minutes, protesters lay on the ground near the college entrance with their hands behind their backs chanting “I can’t breathe” – just like George Floyd said.
The event was mainly peaceful. As marchers returned to the Capitol, a few tossed water bottles at police cars, two storefront windows along the route were damaged, and there was continual verbal taunting of police.
Most of the gathering dispersed from the Capitol grounds after a being led in a prayer by one of the participants.
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