Huber Heights rally today. LYNN HULSEY/Staff

Protesters in Huber Heights denounce racism and police brutality

Demonstrators gathered Saturday evening in Huber Heights to protest racism, police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

Things got tense after about two hours when a police tactical vehicle pulled up after some protesters began cursing at police as officers attempted to get the protesters onto the sidewalk.

Police try to get Huber Heights protesters to leave. BILL LACKEY\STAFF

Police ordered the crowed to disperse several times and while protesters did move onto the sidewalk many did not leave.

The tension dissipated when the tactical vehicle abruptly left, along with police officers on bicycles and in cars. Officers from multiple jurisdictions were on hand. 

A Huber Heights Police tactical vehicle drives away from the protest on Old Troy Pike after police ordered the crowd to disperse. The crowd remained but tension dissipated when the vehicle and other officers left the scene.
Photo: Lynn Hulsey/Staff

The crowd, which swelled to at least 500 people between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. was down to about 100 people by 7:45 p.m.

RELATED: How did we get here? Experts: Long history of racial injustice in U.S.

Organizer Fayhe Watson said the plan was to stand along Old Troy Pike near the I-70 interchange, hold up signs and chant peacefully. About 500 people participated in the rally. There were no speakers and protesters did not march.

»PHOTOS: George Floyd protests continue in Miami Valley

The Dayton NAACP registered people to vote throughout the evening.

The crowd chanted “No Justice, No Peace” and “This is what democracy looks like” as passing cars honked their horns in support.

Huber Heights rally today. BILL LACKEY\STAFF

»SPEAK UP: ‘Courageous Conversation’ on black community, police relations in Dayton set

“For all the victims and families who’ve been involved in police brutality, and all of the people who have been killed, we're just trying to show them that we stand with them, we support them and we're trying to show that our community is better,” Watson said.

RELATED: How to talk to your kids about racism

Protestors take a knee during a demonstration along Old Troy Pike in Huber Heights on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Bill Lackey/STAFF

“My family is African American and I shouldn't have to be worried about my family leaving their house. I shouldn't have to worry about one day my family's gonna get shot because they're black, you know what I mean? So we’re just gonna show everyone that we're together and bring awareness.”

The large crowd took a knee with their fists in the air and were silent for nine minutes in remembrance of Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

RELATED: What can we do to combat racism? Local experts weigh in

Betina Brown, 46, of Cincinnati, said, “Hopefully what we are going to get from this is a dialogue, just starting a conversation can hopefully make something better.”

Betina Brown, 46, of Cincinnati attended the anti-racism rally in Huber Heights on Saturday

Charlie Shivers of Riverside came to the protest with his wife Jessica and daughter Anastasia.

“I’m here to protest racial injustice as well as police brutality. I’m here to just support everyone else who is here who wants a better future,” Charlie Shivers said.

“I’m here because all human beings are human beings and this has to stop,” said Mallory Yount, 24, of Dayton.

Mallory Yount, 24, of Dayton attended the anti-racism rally in Huber Heights on Saturday.

Eileen Alford, 42 of Huber Heights said,  “What I hope to accomplish here is the destruction of the police department and equal rights for all black Americans.”

Eileen Alford, 42, of Huber Heights attended the anti-racism protest rally in that city on Saturday.

Protests also took place today in DaytonTrotwood, Miami Twp., Miamisburg, Xenia, Yellow Springs and Springfield.

An armed demonstration that was planned for downtown Dayton today has been canceled.

RELATED: Local leaders call for weekend protests to be loud, peaceful

Nationwide protests — some peaceful, some violent — have taken place after police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, faces second-degree murder and other charges, while the other three officers present face charges of aiding and abetting murder.

RELATED: Demonstrators gather in Yellow Springs to protest death of George Floyd

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