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New Orleans demonstrators peacefully protest George Floyd’s death

Updated: May. 30, 2020 at 9:26 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - An estimated thousand or more demonstrators flooded the streets in a call to action. Starting at Duncan Plaza, they marched to NOPD headquarters calling for an end to police brutality and justice for the black men and women killed.

Officers blocked side streets and all of Broad, as protesters filled all lanes of the busy thoroughfare.

"It feels like critical mass. We reached a point where we're all together now and we have a common, a common goal," said demonstrator Lebaron Thornton.

Thornton and other protesters say they're fed up with the way people of color are treated, especially by law enforcement.

"I don't want to hear about black people dying for no reason," said protester Jess Miller.

Miller says she woke up Saturday morning and said, 'enough is enough', before echoing the sentiment on a piece of poster board and heading to Duncan Plaza.

Amina Mahfouz says she showed up to spread love.

"Black people in this country, not even in this country, but around the world have been oppressed for hundred of years and this is just a reflection the youth has had enough," Mahfouz said.

Representatives with Take 'Em Down NOLA and the New Orleans Workers Group say they organized the event as a call to action and a way to stand in solidarity with Minneapolis.

"Black lives matter. It's a tragedy what happened to George Floyd. I'm out here just supporting black people," demonstrator Jamal Louis explained.

George Floyd died Memorial Day, shortly after witness videos show now former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck.

Protesters also shouted demands of justice for Breonna Taylor, recently shot and killed in Kentucky.

Unlike the unruly protests seen in other cities, demonstrators in New Orleans were peaceful.

"I felt an overwhelming vibration of love and history being made," recalled Miller.

"We don't want to destroy this or hurt the city. We're just trying to get a message through," Mahfouz said.

Yet, many of those who marched, Saturday, anticipate this to be one of many demonstrations necessary to send that message.

"The only thing that makes a difference us prolonged organizing of working class people," organizer Antranette Scott explained.

New Orleans Police thanked protesters in a tweet, Saturday afternoon, for demonstrating peacefully. It said, in part, “We are proud of our great city and our community’s commitment to advocate for social justice.”

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