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Havre de Grace demonstrators hold peaceful Black Lives Matter protest

About 200 demonstrators gathered in the parking area at the Havre de Grace City Hall on Saturday afternoon for a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.

This followed as protesters took to the streets of Bel Air on Wednesday and Thursday and mass demonstrations have filled the streets of American cities in an outcry over the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police.

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On Saturday, some Havre de Grace protesters found shady spots while others stood in the bright sun to listen to speakers who delivered messages of passion, hope and a will to bring about change.

The protest was organized by former Havre de Grace High School students Samantha Doe, a sophomore at Towson University, and India Clark, a sophomore at Temple University.

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“Around the world, we have seen police brutality and overall racism going on toward black people.” Doe said. “And so we find it is important to bring even to our little community here to bring us together.

"We all support black lives. We just want to promote change. It starts with us”

Doe and Clark addressed the crowd, as did Havre de Grace Police Chief Teresa Walter.

“We are here to support and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen," Walter said. "We are here for your safety, but we are also here because we do want to hear what you have say. There is no place for discrimination, bigotry, brutality and definitely not racism.

“I do not condone the manner in which Mr. Floyd was restrained by the police department," Walter said. “But the one thing I want you to think about is that we can protest, we can demonstrate, we can hold up signs and we can chant. But it is all hollow if we do nothing.”

At one point the group, those who could, knelt for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the duration of time that the Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck.

Havre de Grace police officers were present at the rally but stayed generally at the roadblocks to keep folks safe.

Police blocked Pennington Avenue at Adams and Juniata streets, opening the area in front of City Hall and the Havre de Grace Police Station. Many people walked through the crowd offering water or other drinks to folks, occasionally stopping to talk.

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