A crowd of protesters filled the usually quiet Millponds in Monroe late Sunday afternoon, as people came together to protest the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man.
In a now-viral video, one of four now-former Minneapolis police officers is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, eventually leading to his death.
The demonstration in Monroe - one of many that have sprung up around the country - began with a march around the Millponds, culminating in speakers on the green space between the lakes.
The boisterous-yet-peaceful crowd, estimated by Monroe Police Department as approximately 700 people, was mix of different races, ethnicities, genders and various ages.
Jack Brown, a Chester resident, said that he came to the demonstration looking “for justice for George (Floyd).”
Monroe resident Shonnon Marshall said he came because “of everything going on ... there’s too much death (involving) Black men and women (and) nothing is being done to fix it.
“People say ‘all lives matter,’” he continued, but “I don’t think ‘all lives matter’ until Black lives do ... (I’m) looking to evoke change to bring about a better future.”
“Literally, Black lives matter; it’s annoying we have to go through this over and over again,” said Kareem Myers of Middletown.
While the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery (the African-American jogger who was shot to death while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood a little more than two weeks ago) was a “leading moment,” Myers added: “(The murder of) George Floyd was the straw that broke the camel’s back. As a first responder, you’re supposed to de-escalate. He (Floyd) was already in handcuffs; you should let him go. You don’t need to be on him for eight minutes.”
Stacey Diaz of Monroe said, “Black people need to be heard - just because of their skin tone, they don’t have to be hurt.”