Flint Twp., MI—About twenty people gathered to protest police violence Tuesday—the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd—in the parking lot outside Target on Miller Rd.

In the same parking lot, at the end of May last year, hundreds of Genesee County residents gathered to demand justice for George Floyd and the many other victims of police killings.

Many echoed the same sentiment, that just because Derek Chauvin, the officer convicted of murdering Floyd, was found guilty, it doesn’t mean the problem of police violence has been solved. They took to the streets, they said, to remind people there is still work to do.

Around 7:30 PM, some protesters moved to a second location, onto the Black Lives Matter mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Flint, Mich. to have a conversation with attendees about future action.

Suggestions like voting, running for local office, writing to political officials, and keeping up momentum and visibility to create systemic change were shouted by attendees.

U. L. Brown, 25, of Flint Mich., holds a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr while protesting police brutality on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2021. The portrait, he says, is normally hung on the walls of his home, but when protests emerged in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, he brought the portrait to the streets to let people know its about love, not violence. “If I see somebody acting up I’m hoping this sign will calm them down and help support,” he said. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Claire McClinton records protesters on Miller Rd. in Flint Township on May 25, 2021. About 20 people showed up to the Target parking lot to protest police violence on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Estephanie Ward, 29, and Dakota Starr, 29, both of Flint, attended a Black Lives Matter protest on May 25, 2021, the one-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in the Target parking lot on Miller Road. “I think its very important as a Hispanic person and a person that’s presenting as white to come out in ally-ship with the Black community. A lot of people like to pretend that, you know, we’ve defeated racism or that police brutality doesn’t exist after the Chauvin trial but we all know it hasn’t. So I want to be out here in support of the Black community and show that there is a lot to be done.” Ward said. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Jemini Smith, 50, of Flint, Mich. gets interviewed for TV news in a parking lot on Miller Rd. in Flint Township on the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. Disappointed by the turnout, he live-streamed from his phone as a call to action, attempting to get more people to come out. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
People honk as they drive by protesters outisde of the Target parking lot on Miller Rd. in the Flint Township on May 25, 2021, the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. The first protest after Floyd’s death was in the same location in 2020. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Protest organizer DeWaun Robinson asks attendees to join him in the street on the Black Lives Matter mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Flint on May 25, 2021. About 20 people gathered to demand an end to police violence on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
After initially gathering on Miller Road in Flint Township, protesters against police brutality moved to the Black Lives Matter mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Downtown Flint on May 25, 2021, the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. Various protesters took turns on the megaphone saying things like, “End qualified immunity,” and “We need allies and we all need to work together,” and “If politicians aren’t doing what we need them to do, we need to vote them out.”. (KT Kanazawich.| Flint Beat)
“I have different views than I had last year. It’s not always people inside the uniform that are the problem, it’s the uniform that’s the problem. The system has to be abolished and that’s where I stand at and where I sit at, and it’s a change from last year, being a reforming person, to more of a defund, abolish, type mentality,” protest organizer Johnnie Franklin III said on May 25, 2021, the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. He and others gathered for conversation about action regarding police violence. “Change the definition of what public safety is. Police officers’ mantra is to protect and serve. What are you protecting? What are you serving? You come as a reactionary response. Be a part of the community, being public safety, comes first. Make it more of a people thing rather than a systemic thing.”
A motorcyclist drives past a group of people protesting police violence on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in downtown Flint, Mich. on May 25, 2021. About 20 activists showed up to support the cause and share ideas for change. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Protesters against police brutality stood on the Black Lives Matter mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Downtown Flint on May 25, 2021, the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Patsy Wheeler, 79, of Durand, Mich. said “I’m just tired of sitting at home wringing my hands.” Wheeler attended the protest against police brutality in both locations, on Miller Rd. in the Flint Township, and in downtown Flint on May 25, 2021. She said when she saw protests last year on the news, it was always too late and the event was over. When she saw a news segment about this protest, she said her response was, “Yes, I’ve got to do this.” She asked questions about how to be more involved and other protesters and organizers were happy to answer. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Black Lives Matter Flint organizer DeWaun Robinson speaks at a protest event on May 25, 2021 in downtown Flint on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. “We still here. We talk about those groups and agencies, those folks who are running for office, people that spoke about all those things they wanted to do in this community, we ain’t seeing them here. I ain’t about the ceremonial pieces. I’m about real impact,” he said. “A year later I don’t feel like too much has changed.” (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Frank Haralson, 75, and his wife Annette, 63, of Flint. They met when Annette was 29 and they both were living in Minnesota. Annette exclaimed that she needed help with her car and Frank was happy to help, and they’ve since been married over 20 years. The couple later relocated to Flint, Frank’s hometown. Frank wears a mask with the face of his late grandson, DeShan Polk, who died last year from a gun violence incident. The Haralsons attended the protest against police brutality on the Black Lives Matter street mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in downtown Flint on May 25, 2021, to listen and stay informed, they said. Frank says he has seen Flint over a long period of time and is interested in what is happening around his city. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *