By: Tammy Showalter, Freelance staff writer
Saying a final goodbye to a loved one in this day and age with the impact of COVID-19 has not been ideal for any family, but it’s another thing to see your loved one essentially murdered on a hot dark pavement, now for all the world to see as a police officer casually puts all of his weighted pressure on the neck of that loved one has definitely invoked a ray of emotions across the country and across the world.
The unlawful act of four police officers on May 25, 2020 in the Powderhorn community of Minneapolis when, now former officer Derek Chauvin planted his knee into the neck of George Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, while his counterparts, officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas K. Lane looked on, in essence in support of Chauvin has caused outrage and multiple protests across the country.
Floyd muffled, “I can’t breathe.”
Floyd took his final breathe that day and the call for the arrest of Chauvin was demanded. On Wednesday June 3, Thao, Kueng and Lane were also arrested after a press conference from Floyd’s family seeking the arrests of each.
On Monday, June 1, Prince Frederick residents gathered to march in peaceful protest to honor Floyd and to continue to raise awareness of unlawful police brutality.
Lusby resident, Marvin Green participated in the protest as his children were protesting in Washington D.C. and said the night was about unity.
“It’s not just about tonight, it’s about a lifetime,” Green stated, “There’s too much going on and too often and it’s time for it to stop. It has to stop. Actually just recently a grown [white] man who was drunk swung on my child at the basketball court, so yes we go through it [acts of racial tensions].”
“Unity is the best thing and that’s the thing that’s going to bring this nation back together, Green said, “Respect goes a long way.”
Riley Brown, vice president of the Calvert Rainbow Alliance was standing in the gaps for his fellow citizens of all races and nationalities to show solidarity and support.
“We’re here to support our brothers and sisters of P.O.C. [People of Color] and Black Lives Matter and be here as much as we can and show support.”
Brown spoke of ‘his white privilege’ and compared his life to that of his black counterparts.
“I hope onlookers can see that this is not just an isolated incident. This has been going on for a long time now,” Brown said, “I have a lot of privilege. I am a white man and have so much privilege that I don’t know what to do with it.
“I have friends and family members that not only suffer at the hands of police brutality, but because of racism on the daily and it’s so sad that it’s 2020 and it’s still happening.”
Marching just two feet in front of Brown was Brittany Estep of North Beach.
“I agree with him,” she said, “Every day we walk out here and it’s a struggle; a struggle to be independent and to have a voice and express our opinions. If we have to be out here holding signs in unity, that’s what we’ll do.
“We’re going to make a change and you’re not going to stop us,” Estep continued. “We will be unified in the end.”
Estep said Calvert County as a whole came out in peaceful protest.
“We came out, still wearing our facemasks, knowing that we are still in the midst of a pandemic,” Estep said. “This is my first protest and I feel so proud of myself [for taking a stance].