By Tracy Sanders and Vareva Harris
Woodruff residents joined the nationwide protests of the Minneapolis man killed while in police custody.
George Floyd died on May 25 after a police officer knelt on his neck. The incident was caught on video and sparked an outrage throughout the nation.
The Woodruff Times spoke with the local protesters that gathered at the corner of S. Main Street and E. Griffith Street on Wednesday afternoon.
Woodruff resident Rey Munet wanted to pay tribute to Floyd and decided to protest peacefully on Main Street. He and his girlfriend came out to the intersection around 2:00 p.m. and others soon joined them.
“Woodruff was just too silent, and I just wanted to do the right thing to speak out. We speak for those who are forced to be silent,” said Munet.
The Woodruff Police did stop by the demonstration to ask some of the protesters to move their vehicles and Munet said, “The police officers treated them with dignity and respect.”
Joy Rice from Enoree came out to show that people don’t need to be afraid to speak out. “I wanted to do something like participating in a protest because that wasn’t right, the killing of George Floyd. I’ve seen for years black people getting treated differently than white people and that ain’t right,” Rice said. “People need to get in their mind that all blood is the same. People need to come together and stop noticing color.”
Another local protester, Kathy Ells, said “The community has got to come together.”
Brianna Cook, student at Woodruff Middle School, also participated in the rally with her grandmother and mother. “This is my first protest. I am trying to fix a big problem by doing little things. Everyone was created by one person and He made them all special. I didn’t know the man that was killed but when I saw it on TV I was devastated. I think racism is wrong,” said Cook.
The majority of those who drove by honked in support. However, there were some non-supportive comments from observers as well, like shouting profanity and “go get a job.”
The protest broke up around 5:30 p.m.