Hundreds gather for Black Lives Matter protest in Plattsburgh

Published: Jun. 6, 2020 at 7:16 PM EDT
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Protests continue this weekend, demanding racial justice, and honoring George Floyd. Floyd died after a police interaction in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

Around 1,000 people showed up for a peaceful demonstration in Plattsburgh on Saturday, where Police marched in solidarity with protesters.

"We are very happy about our turnout, we know a lot of the community, had concerns, but so far it's going great. Safety is our first concern and we're going to take care of it," said Jessica Lashway, one of the rally organizers.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of City Hall in Plattsburgh, ready to march on the cities police department, with the Chief in attendance, and assisting with the event.

"It was encouraging that with the communication we had with the protesters, is that they wanted the same thing that we do," said Plattsburgh Police Chief Levi Ritter, "They wanted to make sure that this was a safe protest."

A number of speakers addressed the crowd at City Hall. Some protesters say they've demonstrated against racism in the past, like Melissa Facteau, who remembers protesting in Plattsburgh back in the 60's during the Civil Rights Movement.

"I've gone through this before, fifty years ago we were marching, right down here, for the same reason," she said, "and we haven't made much progress, or we wouldn't be back here; I'm hoping that this generation is going to do more than we did."

Younger North Country residents, like Romell Lewin, say they're happy to see everyone coming together to support racial justice.

"I've got no room for racism, none," he said, "I just like everyone has come to be happy, no matter what the situation is we can work things out together; like this, I love this."

Once they arrived at the Plattsburgh Police Department, the group, including police, took a knee to honor George Floyd. They remained silent for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, to represent how long the Minneapolis police officer had his knee on Floyd's neck.

The Plattsburgh Police Department took questions from the community towards the end of the protest, to learn how they could better serve them in the future.

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