Protesters in Fort Smith chant “I can’t breathe”

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A peaceful protest called “Black Lives Matter: A demonstration for George Floyd” taking place on Rogers Ave. in Fort Smith. People gathered on the sidewalks holding signs and chanting, “I can’t breathe”.

Layla Holloway organized this protest using social media and before she knew it was shared more than 250 times. She like many of the protestors I spoke to say they were outraged by the death of George Floyd.

She said that event has awakened a call to action by people all over the world. Holloway said people want justice, people want peace and they want a justice system that works for everyone.

City Director Neal Martin said he wants people to know the city of Fort Smith is here for them. 

“I have a father, I have uncles and I don’t want that to be one of them. I don’t want them to be subjected to that. I have two sisters too and it happened to Breanna Taylor and I don’t want it to happen to them,” said Holloway.

“We want folks to know that we stand by them and we understand or we try to understand some of the hurt and frustrations that they’ve got,” said Martin.

Martin also said that this is sparking conversations within the city about how they police and interact with its community. He said their goal is to do better for the people they serve.

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