CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Two weeks after his death at the hands of police, George Floyd will be laid to rest on Tuesday.
His passing has prompted cries for reform and more accountability from those in uniform.
A massive crowd, led by the Chesapeake Coalition of Black Pastors, marched about 2.5 miles for justice Monday afternoon.
It was a peaceful but powerful demonstration that promised change is coming.
With each step they took, thousands of marchers sent a powerful message to their community.
“It’s beautiful,” said Evan Brockington. “It’s a beautiful thing to see so many of us marching in solidarity for this cause.”
Demonstrators marched for people they know.
“I’m here for my son, my husband, all of my children, all of us. We all matter,” said Valerie Glenn.
Others came to stand up for strangers.
“I hope that they’re able to see me and see that I’m on their side,” said Simon Fisher.
Pastors who spoke said the road here has been tough.
“Four hundred years later, we find that we are still shackled in the land where we are still treated as exiles,” said Dr. Sandi Hutchinson, pastor of Gabriel Chapel AME Zion Church.
Pastors said it’s time to put prayers into action. Congressman Bobby Scott said the work has already started with the introduction of the Justice in Policing Act.
“Continue to express the outrage,” Scott said. “We hear you and we’re going to do something about it.”
People like Marden Tynes have been here before.
“We were the first ones to integrate schools in Virginia Beach,” she said.
Tynes said the renewed movement led by a new generation is the light coming through the tunnel.
“It stops here, and I really believe we’re going to get something done,” Tynes said.
The coalition listed several things they want to happen including appointing an equality liaison in the city manager’s office to address cultural diversity issues. They also want an oversight committee for police policies and procedures.
Mayor Rick West said city officials are listening and promised to work alongside them.
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