Locals join national push staging protest for justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death
A protest was staged Friday in Joliet in response to the national outcry over a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of a black man.
The demonstration coincided with similar rallies planned the same day across the nation that is seeking justice for George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody, after video surfaced showing a former Minneapolis officer using his knee to pin him down. Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer caught on video kneeling on Floyd, is charged with third-degree murder.
Dozens of protestors took time to line the corners at the intersection of Caton Farm Road and Route 59 in support of the cause.
Faith and Hannah Harris, graduates of Plainfield South High School, said they felt compelled to organize the protest.
“It was something to show other people that black lives do matter,” Faith said.
“I think we’re all getting exhausted sending thoughts and prayers and not having any action behind it,” Hannah said.
Organizers had taken to social media to draw people to take part in the protest.
“We did not expect this,” Faith said. “It actually reached a lot more people than I thought it would. My friend started telling their other friend and their family. We got a bigger turnout than we thought.”
During the demonstration, protestors received honks of some passersby in support of the cause. Many people stood during the protest hoisting signs in the air. They read, “Black Lives Matter”, “Stop Killing Our Brothers”, and “I Can’t Breathe”.
Faith said seeing the way some people remain silent about Floyd’s death speaks volumes.
“We were paying attention to people who would post a lot on their [Instagram] stories, and all of a sudden, they were silent,” she said. “It’s really frustrating and infuriating, especially when people take black culture and they’re silent when it comes to topics like this.”
Faith said she hopes Floyd’s death will not be for naught.
“Being in a smaller town as compared to Minneapolis or many other bigger towns, I wanted to do this [protest] to show people, who may not know what to do in their small town, that this is something that they can do as well,” she said.