WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — About 100 people gathered in Downtown Wilmington’s 1898 Memorial Park on Saturday afternoon to call for justice for George Floyd.
The crowd peacefully demonstrated through speeches, chants, prayers and signs.
“Say his name, George Floyd,” the crowd chanted. “Say his name, George Floyd.”
Floyd died after a Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes while he was handcuffed.
“We like George Floyd have had our hands tied behind our backs and our spirits have been thrown to the ground,” Reverend Dante Murphy said. “So we’re here today hoping that we can breathe again.”
Community Activist Reverend Dante Murphy says the rally was to declare what should be the land of the free and home of the brave–
“But George Floyd has reminded us that freedom is limited and bravery has turned into bullying,” Murphy said.
Heavy rain did not stop the protest. Many protesters gathered closer together to keep one another dry, sharing umbrellas and large tarps.
Murphy says the participants’ willingness to stand in the wet weather spoke to the importance of the message.
“It’s a strong indication that America is tired of being tired,” he said.
Wilmington City Councilman Clifford Barnett says the rain symbolizes change.
“In Genesis He says, after the rain I’ll send a rainbow,” Barnett said. “And when I look at the crowd God, I see a rainbow.”
Barnett says he asked his sons if they felt concerned about the recent events.
“They said, ‘I’m not worried about me. I’m worried about my children, I’m worried about other people’s children,'” Barnett said.
He calls for everyone to never forget and never be silent.
“Here’s my challenge to you, tell the story everywhere you go,” Barnett said.
Barnett then led the crowd in a chant.
“We will do better than this, we will do better than this,” the crowd chanted.
And concluded with a prayer.
“We can be about making the world a better place to be,” Barnett said.
The crowd responded with an “amen.”