HAMPTON, Va. — Anger, outrage and sadness over George Floyd’s death is being felt across the country, sparking renewed calls by protesters for police violence to end.
Local groups are uniting on the Southside and the Peninsula Friday evening to demand their voices be heard.
“All lives can’t matter until black lives matter,” said community activist and president of US 4 US David Wilson.
The death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who begged for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, is sparking renewed calls for police reform.
“When I watched the video of George Floyd begging for his life, it really hurt and upset me on so many different levels,” explained Wilson. “It made me want to know that something needs to be done.”
Wilson and his group US 4 US are just one of several organizations planning to peacefully protest police brutality at Fort Monroe and at Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza in Norfolk at 7:57 pm.
“We all need to unify all across the United States of America to show our law enforcement agencies, our city officials and our elected officials that these things will not be allowed to happen without a response.”
Police departments around the country and throughout Hampton Roads are speaking out.
Police Chief Terry Sult in Hampton says he was “concerned at the actions and inaction of the officers involved.” Meanwhile, Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said in a Facebook post that what he saw in the video was “simply murder.”
Wilson hopes the protest sparks conversation with local police about transparency, excessive force, and protecting black lives.
“I definitely see myself as George Floyd. I definitely see myself as Trayvon Martin. I definitely see myself as Mike Brown. I definitely see myself as Corrine Gaines. I definitely see myself as Philando Castile. I see myself as all of these people,” says Wilson. “I’m just like them, no different. I look like them, I talk like them, I advocate in my community like them, and I don’t wanna end up like Sandra Bland.”