HARRISBURG, Pa. —
Protests in the state’s capital extended into a third day Monday, amid calls to end systemic injustice for people of color.
The protests were sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minnesota.
“I feel like we deserve a future. Everybody’s out here dying like it`s OK,” said Joann Ragbeer, a rising senior at Harrisburg High School. “It’s not cool. It’s really not.”
Monday’s rally was organized by the same people who planned the event on Saturday. The weekend’s event turned violent later in the day. However, the rally on Monday remained peaceful.
Tempers flared, however, when Harrisburg Chief of Police Thomas Carter came to speak directly to the crowd.
“I think it was important for the crowd to hear that we did not approve of the tactics that happened to Mr. Floyd,” Carter said.
Protesters held hand-made signs and chanted—at times using obscenities—as they marched from the Capitol to the river and back.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the rally’s goal was to put “a stop to police brutality, a stop to killing innocent lives, a stop to racism, discrimination, bias, and stigmas
a stop to police brutality, a stop to killing innocent lives, a stop to racism, discrimination, bias, and stigmas.”
Organizers’ demands included a community review board to investigate police misconduct and mandatory body cameras for police officers.
“It’s time for action,” said Andrew Rivera, a Connecticut resident. “I think it’s good to have these consistent rallies. Don`t let the energy die.”
The rally drew more than 500 protesters, most of them young people. They’re the ones inheriting the future, one high school student said, and they want to shape how that future looks.
“You see what’s happening around you and you want to make a change to it,” said Larry Neal, a rising junior at Harrisburg High School. “The perfect time to make a change is now because you`re young.”