Peaceful Protesters return to Hurst Street Saturday, June 6

Protesters returned for a third day of peaceful protesting on Hurst Street

This past week, Shelby County residents and people from surrounding areas hosted a large peaceful protest on Hurst Street in Center to protest against current racial and inequality issues.

The first day of protests shortly turned into a chain link of events. The first protest, which was held Tuesday, June 3, was the start-up of a week- full of peaceful protests, with participants expressing their hurt over the unlawful killing of George Floyd. 

Floyd is the 46-year old Black male victim from Minneapolis who died in late May after pleading that he couldn't breathe while a police officer held him down on the street with a knee on his neck.

A video, now viral, captured by bystanders at the scene of the arrest shows a Minneapolis Police Department officer, Derek Chauvin, with his knee pressed against Floyd’s neck as he was handcuffed and pinned to the pavement. The technique (pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck) used by Chauvin is against department regulations, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, and the officer had no reasons to employ it.

Directly following the original protest, the second one was held Wednesday, June 4, returning with a larger crowd of support than before. 

On Wednesday participant and Center resident, Jocelyn Berry said she was impressed with the support.

“I attended the protests on both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, and I can honestly say that I was pleased with how they turned out,” she said. “Seeing so many members of this community of all ages and backgrounds come together to speak out against injustice was absolutely mesmerizing and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.”

Berry also answered a question about the connection between the Minneapolis man’s death and the protests happening here in small-town Center.

“Many people felt these protests were pointless in that what happened in Minneapolis did not happen here in Center, Texas,” she said. “However, what we stood up for goes far beyond the life of George Floyd.

“I hope this protest starts a community wide conversation about the injustices and racism people have faced in and around this city so that we may better understand each other’s feelings,” she said. “Spreading awareness on a local level is just as important as nationwide attention.”

The third day of protesting happened this previous Saturday, June 6, where a smaller crowd was gathered along Hurst Street, but the support behind the protests’ meaning remained just as strong.

Wednesday protest participant and Shelby County resident, Quan Jackson, said in a recent interview, “I was an active participant in the protest. What I got out of it was - it was a chance to show the young people the proper way to peacefully protest - you know without all the violence and drama involved” he said. 

“A lot of the politicians and leadership that we have - they have failed us. I showed up to really let the young people know that I agree with them peacefully protesting and I feel like it was the proper way to do it,” said Jackson. “In this community - even the people who don’t agree - they needed to see the young people expressing how they felt.” 

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