Black Lives Matter from the Perspective of a Protester

George Floyd. The man that sparked the newest wave of unrest. George Floyd was a 46 year old Black man who was killed by a police officer. The officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes while George pleaded for his life repeatedly yelling “I can’t breathe”. After this story surfaced that was kind of like the last straw for the Black community because this was just like the killing of Eric Garner back in 2014. On May 26 we showed our anger by protesting.

I went out and protested almost every day. My reasoning for going out and protesting was that I knew a change was needed. I am tired of innocent Black people being killed by the people who are supposedly there to protect us and then having the murderers get away without any consequences because of the simple fact that they’re part of the police department. I also feared that my father being a tall black man in America could possibly be the next person to die at the hands of the cops. The first protest I went to was traumatizing. As soon as I arrived I watched a protestor get hit by a car and when others ran up to get medical help from cops watching nearby and told them what happened the cops laughed and went inside of the capital. Although the protesters began peacefully by chanting in front of the state capital we were suddenly hit by teargas and rubber bullets.

That was one of the scariest moments of my life. It all came so unexpectedly and I didnt know what was happening. My sisters and I ran for our lives in the other direction of the cops but we couldn’t go far because there were cops surrounding us on every corner. We tried to go back to peacefully protesting after the crowd had recovered but the police continued to use extreme force like Mace, teargas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs against us. At this point we all realized that the police were not going to stop being violent so the crowd got violent too. As soon as the crowd started to return the violence I left but that didn’t stop me from returning the next day to protest but this time I was prepared with supplies to help with teargas or other riot weapons the police used the night before.

The longer that the cops who murdered George Floyd walked without punishment the angrier America got. The protesting for George Floyd continued every night until the three officers involved got the punishments they deserved. Although his killers were finally held accountable there is still justice that we need served. The protests stopped for a couple of weeks but have recently started back up for a young boy named Elijah McClain who was killed in our own backyard.

Elijah McClain was killed by three officers and two medics in Aurora, Colorado. Elijah was walking home while wearing a ski mask because he had anemia and was easily cold when officers stopped him. The officers harassed Elijah and slammed him to the ground using a “carotid control hold” on him then the medics used a large dose of ketamine to sedate him. Elijah later died.

George Floyd was not the first to be killed by cops but hopefully he will be the last. We don’t intend on stopping the protests and petitions until there is a change in the way that policing is used in America and the officers who have murdered people are held accountable.