GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With the city of Grand Rapids on edge after Saturday's protest devolved into mayhem, another rally has been planned downtown for people to show their support for a growing movement against police brutality.
The "Justice for Black Lives Silent Sit In" has new guidelines to help ensure everyone's safety, and the organizers have been working with the Grand Rapids Police Department.
On Wednesday, June 3, the event encourages people to spread out along Fulton Street holding signs and sitting silently. They then plan to take a knee for nine minutes and chant "I can't breathe."
The protest, like more than 100 that have taken place across the country, are in response to the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nine minutes. Outrage over his death intensified after video of the arrest was posted online, and he could be heard saying "I can't breathe."
Wednesday's protest, which has one of the same organizers as Saturday's, also has a hard end time. This, they say, will allow police to separate the protest from any potential rioting.
At many of these rallies, protesters ask police to acknowledge their position and walk or kneel with them. In Flint, the Genessee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has been praised for marching side-by-side with demonstrators.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne said Monday that he plans to participate in Wednesday's event.
The Facebook event for the Wednesday demonstration shows that 1,600 people plan to attend and 4,000 are interested in attending.
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