Several thousand people gathered in and around LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro Sunday, June 7 at 2 p.m. to protest against police brutality and systemic racism at the Blackout NC rally.
This was reportedly the largest protest rally in the area following the death of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 by a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes after he had already been placed in handcuffs.
Shortly before 2 p.m., people could be seen all over the downtown streaming toward LeBauer Park on Davie Street. The crowd spilled out of the park across Davie Street and along Abe Brenner Place across from the boarded up Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
Although most people were wearing masks, there definitely wasn’t room for social distancing. Early on it appeared people were making an effort to keep some distance, but as more and more people crowded that social distance disappeared.
The visible police presence was not much and was at least a block away. Two police cars blocked Davie Street at Friendly Avenue and two at Lindsay Street and Summit Avenue. The police also had Abe Brenner Place blocked off, but there didn’t appear to be any uniformed police presence in the park itself.
There were no arrests and no reported violence. It was by all accounts a peaceful protest.
There were quite a few speakers including Mary Smith, the mother of Marcus Deon Smith who died on Sept. 8, 2018 just a few blocks away on Church Street after being restrained by Greensboro police. Mary Smith said that her son died the same way that George Floyd died.
There were chants, including “No Justice, No Peace,” and although not every person at the protest had a sign, it appeared that every group of people had at least one. Here are a few: