Kettering protest: ‘This is a fight about shutting down police abuse’

Hundreds of people protested in Kettering Wednesday in solidarity with other local protests and across the U.S. targeting racial injustice.

The protest began in Lincoln Park with nine minutes of silence, marking the nearly nine minutes a police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck before his death in Minneapolis last week.

Aaron Sherwood of Yellow Springs said he wanted to be at the protest in Kettering because it is important to “come together as one.”

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“As an oppressed community, we need to come together as one and make our voices heard,” Sherwood said. “This is a fight about shutting down police abuse and making your voice heard in this time of need is important.”

Sherwood said although he is happy the other officers involved in George Floyd’s death were charged, he won’t be happy until they’ve been prosecuted.

“I need to know that they won’t just get a slap on the hand,” Sherwood said. “It’s not okay.”

The crowd listened to speeches and then marched along Shroyer Road to Stroop Road to show their support for the protest.

Kettering Police Chief Christoper “Chip” Protsman spoke at the protest saying the treatment of Floyd was unacceptable. He said he would protect the protesters as they marched.

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Streets surrounding the park and businesses at nearby Town & Country Shopping Center closed at 4 p.m. before the protest was underway.

Police asked protesters to move off the road, though they were permitted to continue to walk along the busy roadway.

As protesters marched, they chanted “No justice, no peace” and “this is what democracy looks like,” as well as “black lives matter”and “hands up don’t shoot.”

Some protesters said they would like to see police be held accountable by making it mandatory to wear body cameras.

Many of the protesters were young and many children came to the protest with their parents.

Seventh-grader Georgia Sosebee said she would like to see something change. The protest in Kettering was Sosebee’s first protest ever.

“I think it’s important to come together and support each other,” Sosebee said. “I want to see all lives be treated equal.”

Mickey Moore was at the protests in Dayton and Beavercreek before he went to the protest in Kettering. He said he intended to continue going to protests.

“I continue to show up because we must keep fighting,” Moore said. “Each other is all we have.”

Moore said he thought the current system of government and law enforcement needed to be rebuilt.

“This system is not with us, this President is not with us,” Moore said. “Kneeling and cops shaking hands is not enough. I am disgusted with America right now.”

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