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Peaceful protest: Shawnee residents march for justice

Vicky O. Misa

As cities across the U.S. are reporting daily protests — and, in certain areas, riots, looting and property damage — this weekend locals in Shawnee joined the outcry for justice over the recent killing of 46-year-old George Floyd.

Donning walking shoes, dozens of residents gathered signs Saturday and marched along a stretch of Harrison Street between Walls Discount and Sonic.

Ward 4 Shawnee City Commissioner Darren Rutherford said Monday that the conduct of Saturday's event made him proud to be from Shawnee.

“It was very peaceful and well-attended,” he said. “People conducted themselves in a very good manner and got their point across as it should be, with absolutely no violence.”

He said that's what Shawnee is all about.

“Actions several years ago similar to this was why we have our Cops N Kids program,” he explained. “So kids will know our local police department — that they are people to go to.”

He said though he can't speak for the SPD, he believes there are local officers just as outraged at recent events.

“They are us; those guys are us, and they are part of the community,” he said. “I'm proud to be from Shawnee for how Saturday went.”

According to USA Today, Floyd died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground, crying that he couldn't breathe and pleading for help. The incident has galvanized outrage, sparking protests and violence throughout the U.S., the article reads.

It was reported by USA Today that both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office and an autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family that his death was a homicide. The medical examiner's report released Monday listed "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression" as the cause of death.