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Baltimoreans march in protest of Breonna Taylor killing: ‘It’s time for a change’

People march toward McKeldin Plaza, protesting the lack of charges against Louisville police in the killing of medic Breonna Taylor

About 200 marchers and 30 vehicles wound through Baltimore’s streets Saturday to call for justice for Breonna Taylor, a Black Louisville woman who was fatally shot by Kentucky police officers.

For months, the Peoples Power Assembly, a Baltimore advocacy group, has staged protests against racism and police brutality toward Black Americans. The group, and others, gathered new drive this week after a grand jury Wednesday decided not to bring homicide charges against the officers who burst into Taylor’s apartment during a botched raid in March.

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The decision has set off protests nationwide, similar to the social uprising after the death of George Floyd, a Black Minnesota man, also at the hands of law enforcement.

As the Peoples Power Assembly carried large photos of Taylor through downtown Baltimore, dozens of residents and bystanders answered their cries to “say her name.” Neighborhood children skipped up to intersections to wave at demonstrators. Families gathered on stoops and held up their fists in silent support. Seniors seated at a bus stop nodded.

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As the protest trailed down Greenmount near North Avenue, longtime area resident Gloriadean Braxton said that she wants accountability for how police treat not just those killed like Taylor, but Black communities generally.

“To be killed like that in your own home? ... There was no justification in that!” she said about Taylor.

“It’s time for a change,” she added.

Marvina Greene of Baltimore came to the protest with her four children. She said that it was important for the younger generation to know to protest what they feel isn’t right.

“We have a whole lost or separated generation that don’t have any type of connection to their community ... they don’t understand the importance of standing up for your principles, your values and your rights, and protesting— going to rallies and standing up with your signs, or sending letters, whatever the piece is that you can do to say, ‘This is what we want and this is what we need,' " she said.

“This gives [my children] that first-hand experience on appreciating what we have, and knowing that you have the right to change it if there’s something that’s wrong,” she added.

Ebony Johnson, also of Baltimore, marched with a Pan-African flag, its horizontal red, black and green stripes wrapped around her upper body. She said that the flag represented her and others' ancestral connection to Africa and allowed her to “feel liberated.” She said that she marched at a number of rallies throughout the summer and had marched in 2015 in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death

“Anybody that’s greedy or that wants power can manipulate certain people that they want to feel inferior,” she said as cars from the caravan honked nearby. “It’s more than just a Black and white thing.”

The action started near West North Avenue and 21st Street before meandering through the city, passing by the jail complex on Greenmount Avenue, the Labrobe and Douglass Homes and the police headquarters on Fayette Street. It ended at McKeldin Square, along the harbor, where representatives from the Peoples Power Assembly and the Socialist Unity Party spoke to the crowd.

“We’re fighting racism! We’re fighting for change in this country!” said the Rev. Annie Chambers to cheers and applause from the crowd. “We’re fighting [so] that this country must realize that it’s made up of all of us. Black, white brown, red, whatever. No matter. We’re fighting for transgender people. We’re fighting for all of us!”

Baltimore Sun reporter Lillian Reed contributed to this article.

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