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Local News

Protest held over George Floyd's death, police injustice

Dozens gathered to protest against the death of George Floyd in police custody and the injustices minorities face in society.

The protesters gathered in groups that covered the four corners of Route 59 and Caton Farm Road on Friday afternoon. Many protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter!” and drivers who passed by the intersection honked their horns in support.

Faith Harris of Plainfield said she organized the protest after viewing a video that showed Floyd, who is black, pinned at the neck under the knee of white Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd’s death.

“When I saw that, I was outraged and I cried,” Harris said.

Harris said the protesters are not only demonstrating against Floyd’s death but the “senseless killing” of black people at the hands of the police, as well racial inequality and injustice.

Harris said the intersection of Route 59 and Caton Farm Road was chosen because it’s busy and more people would see it.

“Black lives do matter and that’s important for people to see,” Harris said.

Floyd’s death set off days of protests in Minneapolis and in cities across the U.S. such as Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and Houston. Harris said she wanted to hold a protest even though there were other protests happening in larger cities.

“Just having our small town doing it can show people that their small town can do it as well and it’s an important thing to do,” Harris said.

Plainfield resident Yenny Munoz-Swaninger, who teaches in Naperville, was waving a sign that said “As the sea rises, so will we.” She said she was at the protest to support black people and other minorities who face injustices in society.

“As educators, we need to be out here educating the youth,” she said.

Will County Progressives Chairwoman Suzanna Ibarra attended the protest to demand murder charges against the officers responsible for Floyd’s death and protest against the killing of unarmed black men.

“Police officers need to be held accountable,” Ibarra said.

Bishop Richard Pates of the Diocese of Joliet said in a memo that Floyd was “cruelly suffocated” by Chauvin and the two other officers at the scene “did nothing during this eight-minute ordeal.”

Pates said racism is "unfortunately an ongoing evil in our society."

“Acts such as what occurred in Minneapolis must be repudiated. Does not Jesus call us to witness to pro-life in all its dimensions?” Pates said.

• The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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