AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Sunday, a Black Lives Matter protest was held in Amarillo in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Amarillo Police had an active presence along the route.
“It is absolutely groundbreaking and it goes to show that there are good officers still out there. To put a label across an entire people is absurd,” said protester Andy Ben Jackson.
Sgt. Carla Burr with the Amarillo Police Department said she was glad that APD was able to be there, helping to make sure people could exercise their first amendment right to assemble in peace.
“As far as yesterday, even though nothing was coordinated between us and the group that led that yesterday, we were still able to work together as a law enforcement agency and the community and have that as a successful walk and protest for them,” said Sgt. Burr.
Sgt. Burr said that no arrests or destruction of property happened on Sunday, and that police were on hand afterward to make sure nothing happened after the protest.
“Other than a couple of disagreements, everything went real smoothly, really great. Everything was great. Everybody is going to get through this together,” said Brad Roberts, who was at the protest.
Sgt. Burr said if anyone is planning on having a protest, it is not a requirement to call the police department ahead of time. But she said not giving the police notice makes it harder for them to guess what is going on with the protest and how to protect the people involved.
The Amarillo City Council released a statement about the protest today. It reads:
Over the weekend in Amarillo, hundreds of people stood up and peacefully walked the streets of our town, demanding awareness of the tragic killing of George Floyd and the disturbing occurrences of violence toward people of color, in particular African Americans.
Acts of violence against people based on race are repulsive, and no matter where they happen, they affect every corner of our entire community.
We are proud of Amarillo for showing the nation what a safe, effective, meaningful assembly means. The demonstrators this weekend showed compassion and lifted their voices in a manner that everyone can be proud of.
We are proud of the bravery of those that spoke and continue to speak.
We are proud of the Amarillo Police Department officers who stood next to the demonstrators and protected the rights and property of everyone. Their tact, poise, and professionalism ensured that the message of the demonstrators rang loud and clear and without distraction.
As the leaders of Amarillo, our responsibility is to make our community one that is safe, inclusive, and caring of everyone, especially in these trying times. We each hold our own personal convictions and values that guide that work, and we commit to respectfully engage with each other in what happens next.
This is what Amarillo looks like. We don’t hide from difficult situations. We don’t look away from uncomfortable images. We take issues head on, and we join together to bring the problem to light and then to look for solutions.
As your city leaders, we commit to engaging in dialogue, supporting our community, and implementing action-oriented change. Amarillo will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive city for people from all backgrounds.
In times of great difficulty can often be found times of great opportunity and even hope. Let us all stand together on the common platform that says in Amarillo, you will be treated fairly and equally regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and citizen status.
And now, Amarillo, we ask for your help. Help us overcome the many pressures across our country to divide us and choose with us to walk in unity regardless of our individual differences. We are a city of people created equally in the eyes of God, and we honor every person by doing unto them as we would have them do unto us. Choosing to honor each other and walk in unity is not a matter of convenience; it is a matter of necessity.
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