Hundreds march in Miami after week of peaceful protests, unrest

MIAMI (WSVN) - Hundreds of people returned to Downtown Miami and marched across part of the city following a week of demonstrations across South Florida calling for justice in the death of George Floyd.

7News cameras captured demonstrators as they filled Biscayne Boulevard near the Torch of Friendship, Saturday afternoon.

“What do we want?” yelled a protester.

“Convictions!” demonstrators replied.

“When do we want it?” yelled the protester.

“Now!” demonstrators answered.

 

Saturday’s protest began at around 4 p.m. From The Torch of Friendship, participants headed north on Biscayne Boulevard, then west along 36th Street.

“This is what it looks like when we’re sick and tired,” said a protester.

“Enough is enough,” said another protester. “We’re very peaceful, we’re very organized, and we’re here to stay.”

Cellphone video captured now former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while taking him into custody, May 25.

That footage sparked outrage across the nation and has led to nearly two weeks of daily protests worldwide.

Chuvin and the other three officers involved in Floyd’s death — Kiernan Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao — have been fired and charged. Chauvin is facing second-degree murder charges.

Protesters in Miami said that what happened to Floyd is just one example of discrimination that black Americans face every day.

“Young black men in this country are suffering, and we’ve just had enough,” said a demonstrator.

Witnesses were seen recording the march from their balconies before protesters made their way to Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, while Miami Police officers directed traffic to help keep protesters safe.

Meanwhile, at around 5:45 p.m., SkyForce HD flew above several bikers along Harding Avenue, near 71st Street, in Miami Beach. Shortly after, they were seen pulling into the Chevron station at Abbott Avenue and 71st Street.

Police said they’re aware of the riders and were monitoring the situation.

Just after 6:10 p.m., SkyForce HD hovered above the protesters in Miami as they walked by the Target store at The Shops at Midtown Miami.

As the group grew larger, demonstrators’ calls against racism grew larger.

A man held a large sign that read, “Systemic racism against black people is a world pandemic.”

“This is my opportunity to express what it is that I feel, what I’ve experienced,” he said, “and being heard, being seen, speak up, speak out loud, respectfully, for those of us who are continuously affected by it.”

Others urged people to continue to make their voices heard in the voting booth.

“We need to get out and vote. That is where we can change things that are occurring right now,” said a demonstrator.

The gathering prompted police to shut down Interstate 195 in both directions. It has since reopened to traffic.

Protesters later returned to Downtown Miami and ended the protest near where it began.

As of 10 p.m., police said they have made no arrests.

The march comes a day after tense moments between protesters and police officers who had blocked off ramps to the Julia Tuttle Causeway and Interstate 95.

Saturday afternoon, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez amended a countywide curfew to start at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. like he had announced Friday night. The curfew remains in effect until 6 a.m. until further notice.

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