CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Two weeks since George Floyd’s death, people across the country have protested, calling for change.
Monday, many filled the streets of Chesapeake echoing similar calls in a March for Racial Justice hosted by the Chesapeake Coalition of Black Pastors (CCBP).
“[We’re] sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Bishop Kevin White said. “What happened to George Floyd is a result of racism.”
People of all ages and different backgrounds came together, some holding fists and signs high, with one united message.
“America is hurting, and it's time for a change,” Chesapeake resident Al Alexander said.
White told News 3 about 20 churches in Chesapeake took part in the march.
For Connie Tate, marching with her family was important.
“I'm mixed race. I have a black dad and a white mom. So, I think it's definitely a personal issue for me,” Tate said. “The oppression of black people has never ended.”
At Chesapeake City Hall, marchers joined local leaders and law enforcement in prayer and honored Floyd.
Monday, the coalition also presented demands to Chesapeake city leaders.
“We want to be proactive more so than reactive,” White said.
According to a list from CCBP obtained by News 3, those include the following:
- An appointment of an Equality Liaison with the City Manager’s office to address the issues of cultural diversities with the City of Chesapeake Government.
- A standing quarterly meeting with CCBP, the Mayor, the City Manager, the Equality Liaison and the Police Chief to discuss issues of concerns in communities of color.
- An independent Steering Committee of diverse community leaders to serve as an oversight committee focused on reviewing policies related to training and policing communities of color.
- Updated policies, procedures and training regarding use of force, de-escalation techniques and cultural diversity training, to be reviewed by the Steering Committee.
“We as city leaders will take them to heart and continue to find ways to build a better tomorrow for all of our citizens in Chesapeake,” Mayor Rick West said at the protest following the presentation of demands to city leaders.
Protesters told News 3 they’ll continue making their voices heard, peacefully, until their mission is accomplished.