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Live updates | Crowd disperses after three deputies take a knee

A silent sit-in is being held to protest police brutality and stand in solidarity with Minneapolis.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — *This story will be updated throughout the afternoon/evening*

After two anti-racism protests were held in Grand Rapids in recent days, another demonstration happened Wednesday at 4 p.m. 

A silent sit-in was planned to rally against police brutality and racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. The sit-in had a planned end time, and the Grand Rapids Police Department were in contact with the organizers, however, a separate group continued marching following the end of the sit in. 


9:57 p.m. - 

9:44 p.m. - Protesters meet police at the barricade downtown to begin dialogue.

9:14 p.m. - 

7:19 p.m. - Protesters are marching outside of the downtown area and heading east. 

6:15 p.m. - Protesters are continuing to march in the downtown area. 

6:00 p.m. - Protesters have now taken to marching and chanting through the streets of downtown. 

5:43 p.m. - A large group has remained following the sit in protest and are chanting in the middle of Fulton Street near Ionia Avenue. 

Watch live: Protest held in Grand Rapids

The official sit in has ended, but crowds still remain in downtown Grand Rapids.

Posted by 13 On Your Side on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

5:12 p.m. - The sit in protest is wrapping up, and Bates, the protest organizer, has asked people to go home. Some people are dispersing, but others are beginning to chant.

4:50 p.m. - Police Chief Eric Payne and Kent County Sheriff Michelle Lajoye-Young along with other leaders from both departments have come out and are kneeling with protesters. Right before kneeling, Payne says "black lives matter." 

"We need to work hard to make this matter right not just to be angry but to build forward and build on what we already started," says Young. 

Payne also says he plans to meet with Bates, the protest organizer, next week to discuss how to move forward. 


Watch live: Protest held in Grand Rapids

A silent sit-in has been planned to rally against police brutality and racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

Posted by 13 On Your Side on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

4:40 p.m. - A group, including organizer Aly Bates, gathers in the middle of Fulton right up against the barricade. Also among the group is Kent County Commissioner Robert Womack. Womack said this protest is giving a chance for GRPD Chief Eric Payne to move the city forward with his participation. 

3:50 p.m. - People are lining the street from Fulton Street & Ionia Avenue all the way past the U.S. 131 overpass. Many of their chants are met by honks in the parts of the street that are still open. Fulton is barricaded by Kent County Road Commission trucks at Fulton & Ionia and Fulton & Ottawa.  

3:36 p.m. - Hundreds of people are showing up downtown and flanking Fulton Street W. Most of them holding signs saying "I'm still here, I'm still pissed," at the direction of the protest organizer.

12:20 p.m - City officials say the downtown area will remain open during the protest, but certain streets will be closed to vehicle traffic: 

  • Fulton Street West – Ottawa Avenue NW to Sheldon Avenue NE
  • Division Avenue North – Fulton Street East to Library Street NE
  • Commerce Avenue SW at Fulton Street West
  • Ionia Avenue NW at Fulton Street West
  • Monroe Center Street NW
  • Louis Street NW at Ottawa Avenue NW

Drivers and bicyclists are asked to follow posted detours.

This demonstration will line people up along Fulton Street, then at 5 p.m. they plan to kneel and chant "I can't breathe" for nine minutes.

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