Black Lives Matter kneel in silence for George Floyd outside Apopka Police Department, June 6, 2020
In the parking lot of the Apopka Police Department on Saturday, June 6, Black Lives Matter protestors knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in honor of black police brutality victim George Floyd.Posted by The Apopka Chief on Sunday, June 7, 2020
An estimated 1,000 people joined a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration that included a march to the Apopka Police Department, where participants knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in memory of black police brutality victim George Floyd.
Defying the drizzle on Saturday, June 6, the protest started at the Kit Land Nelson Park gazebo on North Forest Avenue. One by one, speakers demanded an end to systemic racism and police brutality, and honored the black victims who died at law enforcement officers’ hands.
“I know all lives mater, but in a situation where we see black men being killed by police officers, black-on-black crime and all the other, we believe that we should be seen. And I don’t want to hear ‘I don’t see color.’ That simply means you don’t see me if you don’t see my color,” said Hezekiah Bradford, president of the South Apopka Ministerial Alliance during the invocation that opened the event.
After the speakers had their say, protesters marched from Kit Land Nelson Park via Park Avenue to the Apopka Police Department on East Sixth Street. At the parking lot there, people knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds honoring George Floyd. He suffered for that exact length of time under the knee of a white police officer while handcuffed and lying face down in Minneapolis, Minn., on May 25, before his death.
Protest organizers, all of whom were Apopka youths, read their list of eight demands for change in police protocol and training to the city’s law enforcement officers while they listened. Those demands include a requirement for recurring de-escalation training and developing a citizen review board on police oversight.
To cap the demonstration, participants walked back to Kit Land Nelson Park via West Orange Trail.
According to Apopka Police Chief Michael McKinley, who did listen to the organizers’ list of demands, many of those requirements are what law enforcement agencies in general have already implemented into their education and protocol including de-escalation training.
An extended story plus photos will appear in the Friday, June 12, issue of The Apopka Chief. Subscribe today!