KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The death of George Floyd has sparked rallies and protests in cities across the country. People wanting their voices to be heard are coming together to condemn the actions of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Knoxville Police Department for a peaceful rally to demand justice for George Floyd. The common emotion they shared was exhaustion.
“I’m exhausted. exhausted man,” said Denzel Grant, an attendee of the rally.
“We’re tired of seeing this happening. Something needs to change,” said Emma Byrd, who also attended.
Jackie King says she protested during the civil rights movement and she’s angry that tragedies like this are still happening. “I am mad. after what happened to George, I am so mad,” King said.
This hit close to home for Anita Loggins, she says she felt she needed to be there.
“My parents were born in 1943 and 1946 in Mississippi and they lived through the civil rights movement and they didn’t live through that for me not to come here and stand up for what this is about,” Loggins said.
This group of people, coming together with hopes that these tragedies stop happening.
“My goal is to have it so that my two boys don’t have to walk around the way I have to now. So if I don’t see it within my lifetime, I’m fighting everyday so my kids can see it,” said Denzel Grant.
Although a rally can be one of the first steps toward change, participants at Friday’s rally said, they’re hoping they don’t have to do this again. Sam Brown says he wants to see change even after the rallies. He says he hopes for more legislation that prevents these things from happening.
“This is becoming a national pandemic, racism and institutionalized racism that is once again claiming the lives of people of color and specifically black men,” Brown said. “It really concerns me because I am a black man. If I have sons one day they will be black men, my brother is a black man, my father is a black man and so I think we need to make sure that while we’re making the noise and having the protests that there needs to be some proactive measures taken to ensure we don’t have to do this.
The fighting and crying for justice isn’t something that I enjoy doing, because it isn’t something you should have to fight for. It’s God given.” Brown said.
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