BLM group in Waco urges Americans to speak out in the wake of George Floyd's death
A group associated with Black Lives Matter held a peaceful demonstration at the Waco suspension bridge Sunday afternoon.
Panning for the protest was started in a Snapchat group chat by Deviar Woodson of Waco.
"As it got bigger and bigger and friends added other friends to the group chat, and we started making flyers and posters to advertise it, and it started getting on social media, I was like this is way bigger than me and it needs to happen and it needs to happen here," said Woodson.
"And it needs to happen peacefully. And I’m so glad it turned out like this and so many people came out here."
The multi-racial and multi-generational group said it was raising awareness about what it says is police brutality as well as racial inequality against African Americans.
"I did not want just black people to be out here," said Woodson. "I’m glad they’re out here... But this is isn’t just a black versus white problem. It’s a race problem, but it’s a ‘we need change’ problem. We need racism to end."
Similar, although more violent protests, have erupted in cities across Texas and the United States in the wake of the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Several governors, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, have activated national guard troops in response to rioting and looting.
Group leaders in Waco on Sunday led the group in chants of "No justice. No peace. No racist police."
The group also chanted "Hey ho, hey ho, these racist cops have got to go."
Several area law enforcement officers and leaders have condemned the actions of Minneapolis Police officers involved in the incident that led to Floyd's death.
“I watched the whole tape several times and I can tell you what that officer did to his suspect was way out of line and not at all acceptable,” said Matt Cawthon, a retired Texas Ranger who served for more than 40 years.
Video recorded on Memorial Day in Minneapolis has gone viral. It shows a city police officer restraining the 46-year-old Floyd.
Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck and left it there for at least eight minutes.
The footage recorded by a bystander shows Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck as Floyd gasps for breath on the ground with his face against the pavement and the officer refuses to move even after Floyd said he couldn’t breathe and stopped speaking.
Floyd was pronounced dead when he reached the hospital.
Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. He and three other Minneapolis Police officers involved in the arrest have been fired.