ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- Thursday night’s Black Lives Matter protest near the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge was peaceful and filled with people of different races, cultures, and genders. People from different backgrounds coming together to support one another. City officials were in attendance to discuss the importance of listening to one another during these troubling times. Demonstrators say recent protests are about more than death of George Floyd, it’s about generations of battling racism.
“Hit these issues head on all throughout not just George Floyd or any of the countless names we could document, it’s bigger than that so that’s why I’m here today, I think that’s what everyone’s standing up for,” said Abilene resident Martez Hawkins.
Organizers say tonight’s protests is about unity and gives a voice to the voiceless.
“This is not a people of color thing, tonight you have all sorts of diversity in our midst, because this is about humanity and so we have an opportunity to reflect on humanity and move forward,” said Mayor Anthony Williams.
Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge addressed the protesters to let them know he is taking this seriously.
“We will work with Mayor Anthony Williams to begin ongoing community conversations about police policies about our customs, about current events, and this notion of humanity that was referenced earlier,” said Chief Standridge.
Creating a dialogue between the police and people of color could go a long way in rebuilding trust between them.
“A lot of us are not anti-police. We don’t hate the police, we just want them to understand what they’re doing and how it’s effecting the community as a whole,” said Fort Worth resident Mikey Hernandez.
There were hundreds of people participating in this protest, citizens and police alike.