Friday, a large group of demonstrators gathered in front of the old courthouse in downtown Madisonville, chanting, cheering, and calling for support of their social justice movement.
“We wanna be treated with humanity, we want to be treated with dignity and respect. And we want the world to know that we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” explained protestor Shawn Whitzell.
As American cities reel from days of violence in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, in Madisonville Friday—-a more peaceful show of campaigning.
“Anybody that is an authority figure, they need to take other peoples rights into perspective. It’s supposed to be the United States of America. Things are supposed to be treated equally, and things are not being treated equally,” said protester Becky Ellis.
Protestors gathered showed their support for Floyd and others they believe were unjustly killed, and sought to call attention to what they see as a pattern of police action around the country.
They say, they want their words, and their presence in the middle of town to send a message of unity.
“Of course we want to do in the most peaceful way. I’m just glad that I get to live that history that we actually learned about when we were younger. So I just pray that this is a step forward in the right direction, and continues to move forward,” protestor AshLeigh Foster explained.
Though tonight one of the officers trying to take Floyd into custody has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter and will see his day in court, demonstrators say despite the officer’s arrest, tonight’s rally is only the beginning.
“I’m glad to see this going on. I used to march with Martin Luther King’s son and Reverend Louis Coleman in Louisville. I’m not able to march none, but as long as I got wheels I’ll travel. This is just a start. And this is a good start,” protestor Phyllis Elam remembered.
Demonstrators are expected to gather again Saturday at the old courthouse at 6 o’clock a for march.