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:
Gee whiz……Roy Cooper was so busy trying to close down Ace Speedway in Elon that he forgot to take action on this event for violation of his sanctimonious pseudo lockdown edicts.
Call Mandy Cohen and Roy Cooper!! No signs of social distancing in that gathering.
I am happy to see that people are enjoying their constitutional right to gather and protest peacefully. Ours is (was?) the greatest country is history, and can remain so as long as we can ALL enjoy ALL our rights. Not just those that we agree with. If you want to change the constitution, there is a process to make an amendment. Many amendments have been made in the past, and more can be made if most of us agree.