FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Protests continue across the country demanding justice for George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The organizers of Tuesday’s (June 2) protest stressed that it was meant to be peaceful and told the crowd if they had any plans to riot or cause violence, they would need to leave.
Fayetteville police chief, Mike Reynolds and his department showed solidarity with protesters by kneeling with everyone for eight minutes. That’s about the same amount of time authorities say former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck.
There were a few moments of tension during the protest. Protesters reportedly started lighting fireworks on Central Street, water bottles were thrown, and there were heated discussions with officers. However, protesters were policing each other and shutting others down when anything got out of hand.
Fayetteville police said there were no arrests made and no tear gas used. Corporal Nick White said there may have been pepper spray used but it’s unclear if that was from police or a protester.
Local activist, D’Andre Jones said the protest was a good start, but the road to racial equality is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
“I believe that last night in Fayetteville was certainly a reflection of individuals, White people, who want to speak up, who want to stand up, and are committed to saying that racism stops with me,” Jones said.
Jones said there are different ways to keep the momentum going. He said you can donate to local organizations working for racial equality, support minority owned businesses, and simply have tough conversations.