just realize I had sat in a lot of privilege of being able to turn this off and walk away from it. And I needed to somehow find a way that I could engage that would make a difference, to stand shoulder to shoulder with my neighbors.
At the march, for every Black person, there were two whites, maybe three whites. Thankfully, the police were very supportive and some of the police officers even marched with us and that group of people that was with the NAACP in Blount County, they have done a lot of work with the police officers there, long before George Floyd, to try to bring some changes into the regulation. So they had already started a positive relationship, so it didn’t feel scary.
Because they closed the streets, there were a lot more families that were standing on the sidewalks beside us as we were walking. It was very emotional to see them stand there, mostly Black people, mostly in the Black neighborhood, just crying. Old, old people—even little grandmas were getting pushed up in their wheelchairs just to witness something that I’m sure none of them had really seen before. It was very humbling to have so many people watching and encouraging and just witnessing that, you know, we’ll stand with you until we get this job done.
KOERRI WASHINGTON, 32
The George Floyd protest started down at the municipal building, which is in downtown Kenosha. There was a really large crowd down there. People were just letting their voices be heard, playing music, all different types of stuff. Eventually, the protests turned into a march. March happened. Went on for a few hours. Eventually, I’d say it turned into, you could say, a soft riot, I believe. Buildings weren’t set ablaze or anything like that. I believe one place did have a Molotov tossed into it, but it was put out fairly quickly. And there was a couple buildings that had some windows broken and stuff like that, but it was mainly just a lot of people in the street. It was a pretty massive crowd—I’d say at its peak it was probably anywhere from 2,500 to 3,500 people. I didn’t expect it to be so large here.