BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From Bel Air to Towson to Baltimore City Hall, hundreds of peaceful demonstrators gathered across Maryland on Thursday to protest the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
“It has come to a point where our voices need to be heard,” Trinitee Grant, of Bel Air, said.
Hundreds of people packed the streets of downtown Bel Air, calling for an end to police brutality. But Grant said the protest was about much more.
“We have to disrupt the system. The system is flawed, people are hurt every day, black people are hurt everyday, they fear every single day for their lives simply because of their skin,” Grant said.
Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators stood outside the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, calling for Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler to come outside and speak with them.
Thursday night, Gahler issued a statement. He said, in part:
“As your Sheriff, I want to share my feelings about racism and discrimination in our world in one word, INEXCUSABLE. There is no place for this type of behavior in law enforcement and certainly this includes the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. We will not tolerate these actions in our community. We stand on our Core Values of serving our community with Courage, Honor, and Integrity.”
From Harford County to Baltimore County to Baltimore City, people came together, linking arms in solidarity
“This protest is really showing we can come together in unity peacefully,” Kenny Proctor, of Bel Air, said.
Fueled by the pain from the death of George Floyd, many say change can only happen when the nation can unify as one.
“It shouldn’t have to start with this,” Will Washington, of Bel Air, said. “It should have happened years ago, but here we are now. Hopefully, this will set something to get on the right side of history”
In his statement, Gahler went on to say, “…our deputies will treat every person with respect and dignity and in an unbiased manner…” and added “…anything less will not be tolerated by me. It is that simple. You deserve that continued promise from me and everyone in my office.”