Group holds peaceful protest in downtown Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds gathered in downtown Grand Rapids Saturday to peacefully protest police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The #AmINext #4Unity protest was organized by women in Grand Rapids.

Demonstrators met at Rosa Parks Circle at 4 p.m. The protest was set to go until 8 p.m. but much of the group dispersed by 7:30 p.m.

The event began with organizers speaking, followed by the group marching the streets chanting, “No justice, no peace. No crooked police.”

“It’s cool the police are kneeling and all that stuff, but its not enough. We need real change in the community,” one protester said. “Kneeling is not going to do enough. We’re going to forget about it in a couple of days, until someone else get killed.”

The protest had a diverse turn out with people of all races and ages.

The city of Grand Rapids told News 8 the event was an “expressive speech activity.” Organizers worked with the city and police to put the event together.

Protesters marched for about 2 hours then took a knee near Fulton Street and Ionia Avenue.

The event remained peaceful. Demonstrators got close to the Grand Rapids police headquarters without crossing the truck barricade that had been placed at the intersection.

Police did not march with protesters or take a knee like they did earlier in the week, but they were seen in the area wearing protective gear.

Grand Rapids police during a peaceful protest. (June, 6, 2020)

After marching the streets, the group returned to Rosa Parks Circle where they took a knee as organizers addressed the crowd.

A 24-hour vigil continues Saturday for Breonna Taylor, a Grand Rapids native who was shot and killed by police in Kentucky.

Many are gathering to honor her life on what would have been her 27th birthday, while demanding justice for her death. The vigil started at 9 p.m. on Friday.

The gathering is part of a nationwide movement to support Taylor.

In South Haven, demonstrators gathered for a peaceful protest.

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