Protesters turn out in DC for third consecutive weekend
A number of protesters turned out in parts of Washington, D.C., on Saturday for a third consecutive weekend of demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in police custody.
Protesters were seen marching in one area of Northwest D.C., chanting “Black lives matter” and “Say their names,” referring to black people who have been killed by police officers.
Demonstrators also gathered near Lafayette Square, across from the White House, which has seen numerous murals and signs honoring Floyd and other victims of police violence.
The Washington Post reported that visitors turning out in the area on Saturday snapped photos of the murals and signs, including the newly renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
I’m at Lafayette Square this morning, where families are out in full force protesting.
“Raise this up, my daughter,” a father told his 11-year-old daughter as she lifted her sign:”I am black and beautiful.”
— Rachel Chason (@Rachel_Chason) June 13, 2020
— Jess Arnold (@JessArnoldTV) June 13, 2020
The protests were not nearly as large as those in past weeks, which saw tens of thousands of people descending on the District to condemn racism and police brutality.
Washington has been the site of some of the most contentious demonstrations, with law enforcement using force to disperse a crowd near the White House earlier this month.
Demonstrators have been calling for a litany of changes across the country, with some urging cities to defund police departments.
Some progressive lawmakers have backed the effort to direct money allocated to police to other social services, though Republicans and many Democrats have pushed back on, instead emphasizing other reforms.
The demonstrations on Saturday also included a counterprotest in support of law enforcement, with members dubbing their protest the “We Back Blue” march.
“I’m doing this to show law enforcement there are people who still support them, who still love them, who still have the courage to show that. And I hope more people will join,” said an organizer of the march.
Today in D.C., the first gathering to show support for law enforcement that I’ve seen in more than 2 weeks of covering the Floyd protests. So far roughly a dozen are here for the “We Back Blue” march.
Here’s the organizer Melissa, who said she’s here to show love for police: pic.twitter.com/LDRqsREJ00
— Hannah Natanson (@hannah_natanson) June 13, 2020
Demonstrations entered their 16th day following furor over the death of Floyd, who died after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a package of police reforms on Friday in one of the first moves by cities to take action since the nationwide protests began.
Those measures included banning chokeholds by law enforcement in the state and providing greater transparency for disclosing disciplinary records for officers.
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday also voted unanimously to explore a new safety model for the city after unrest following Floyd’s death.
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