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