Two local rallies were held earlier today in response to the death of George Floyd.
Hundreds gathered at Cantore Park for the Naperville Demands Police Accountability rally.
“Our group thought it was important to have an event here where we as people of color gave an opportunity for our black community members to tell their stories so we can listen, hear, and learn, said organizer Sarah Diaz.
Minorities and Diversity Living in Naperville and Surrounding Suburbs hosted the event that allowed speakers to share those stories.
“My daughter recites the pledge of allegiance everyday and she says ‘mom, where is my justice?’ said speaker Cecilia Garcia. “Why is it that she would wakes up wishing that she was white?”
“It seems like we always come together when something negative happens. It’s time that we stand together all the time,” said speaker, Andy Williams Jr.
“We have so much more in common, but we are in a society that focuses so much on what our differences are,” said speaker Dana Davenport. “That creates fear, that ignites insecurity, that creates power struggles.”
One by one the names of 26 individuals who died in police incidents were read as each person held up their picture.
Rally-Goers each had their own reason for attending – some for personal reasons and others as a sign of solidarity.
“I want to make sure that my sons are able to ride in their car, to ride to school, to go to McDonald’s, to hang out with their friends, to not be racially profiled,” said Tameka Smith.
“Especially me, as a white girl in the suburbs, it’s important for me to show my support for people who need it and it’s not about saving people, it’s about black liberation and having their voice heard,” said Julia Tesmond.
“As a non-black person of color we want to be here physically, putting our bodies in the way of showing that we’re here to protect our black brothers and sisters from police terrorism,” said Zahra Ali.
The officer shown holding Floyd down with his knee to Floyd’s neck has been arrested and charged for murder and manslaughter.
Organizers hope the rally will put pressure on law enforcement to charge the three other officers present during the incident.
Another rally, Aurora Demands Police Accountability, also drew hundreds to the Aurora Police Department.
Mayor Richard Irvin spoke at the event and when chief of police Kristen Ziman took the microphone, things got a bit heated as some from the crowd expressed their frustrations.
“I admit people got a little upset and rightfully so. I’m upset with what happened to George Floyd and what’s happening to so many unarmed black men around the country,” said the mayor. “We’re tired of it and we want to see justice, I want to see justice. And all I can say is as the mayor of the city of Aurora I’ll make sure we have justice and equity in my community.”
The crowd eventually calmed down and Ziman was able to listen to what they had to say.
Many also stood along Indian Trail Road holding signs as cars showed their support as they were driving by.
Two groups, working together to promote justice for all.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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