REISTERSTOWN (WJZ) — Protestors around the Baltimore area marched, chanted and protested against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis at the end of May.

Floyd died on Memorial Day following an encounter with Minneapolis police. Cell phone video of his arrest showed former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he pleaded for help, telling Chauvin and other officers he couldn’t breathe.

On Friday, protestors chanting Black Lives Matter and Black Trans Lives Matter marched in a large group throughout downtown Baltimore.

 

A protest was also held in Reisterstown.

“This is my first demonstration,” Theresa Jackson, of Reisterstown, said. “How many times am I going to sit on the sidelines and let somebody else speak for me.”

The march started at Franklin High School and moved to Franklin Middle School in Baltimore County.

 

“I am very hopeful. I think that constantly protesting and giving our voices, putting our voices there will definitely make change,” Lizzy Leary said.

Even the young were at the protests for lessons in equality and kindness.

“I think it will help people feel happy because they know that somebody is there for them when they need something,” Dexter Krell, of Reisterstown, said.

“We are part of this community. This is a time for us to be united together and to be walking shoulder to shoulder with members of the community,” Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt said.

In Baltimore City, protesters gathered at City Hall just hours after City leaders met with activists who don’t want to see a moment disappear without change.

“Following all the protests, there has to be some policy, and there has to  be some systematic change, and B’more Unified Community Organization is here to ensure that that change is being made and all the voices are being heard,” a spokesperson said.

In Harford County, teenagers, college-aged students and young adults in their 20’s also protested against police brutality and the death of Floyd.

“You got to understand that we’re coming out of the years of going with the flow, going with what our parents say, now we’re understand what we believe what we understand what we stand for,” Taran Rowell, the organizer of the protest, said.

“We just want our voices to be heard and hopefully see a change,” Kayla Foy said.

Foy said she is setting an example for her younger siblings.

“My sister is 9 and she looked at me and said, ‘Oh, when’s the next protest? I want to go.”

Maconio Morton said it’s heartwarming to see his community unite as one.

“It’s very powerful and moving for the black community,” Morton said. “I feel cared for. I feel like my life actually does matter.”

Organizers said this demonstration of love and unity was something they needed to do, rain or shine.

“The thunder can thunder, the lightning can crack, but it doesn’t matter because we’re standing for what we believe in,” Rowell said.

Ava-joye Burnett

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