PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Protesters took to the streets of Providence Wednesday afternoon to remember the black Americans who recently lost their lives in incidents involving police officers.
The group of roughly 100 people marched from Kennedy Plaza, past the Providence Place Mall to the Rhode Island State House.
As they marched, demonstrators chanted the names of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, two black Americans who died at the hands of police in 2020.
According to a Facebook event, organizer Elikapeka Malia Torres said the goal of Wednesday’s rally was “to lift up the souls of those who have lost their lives in recent events.”
Torres also encouraged attendees to wear masks, practice social distancing, and bring water to stay hydrated in the 80-degree weather.
A local reverend spoke on the state house steps, saying in part, “When our eyes do not see the gravity of racial injustice, shake us from our slumber and open our eyes.”
The demonstration ended with an 8:46 “sit-in” or “lie-in”, marking the length of time Floyd was pinned to the ground by now-former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in May.
Chauvin was fired the day after video of the deadly incident went viral. He has been charged with second-degree, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
In March, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police officers while they conducted a no-search warrant of her apartment.
Taylor was not the target of the police investigation.