TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Protesters gathered at the statehouse Saturday afternoon, joining people across the state and country in demonstration against the custody death of George Floyd.
Protesters chanted, “Say his name. George Floyd. Say his name, George Floyd,” over and over again, peacefully calling for justice for the Minnesota man. George Floyd died in police custody Monday, May 25, sparking protest and riot across the country.
A number of protesters who spoke with KSNT said what happened this week in Minneapolis was unacceptable and Saturday’s rally was a stand for unity and peace.
“I have no desire to tear up this city, I have no desire to tear up this town,” one protester said.
Instead, protester John Hymon said he rallied for equal treatment for everyone in the community.
“We want to be able to stand equally and have access to the powers at be so that these injustices won’t continue,” Hymon said.
Shawnee County District Attorney Michael Kagay attended the rally and said he wants to see change too. He plans to use his position to start asking questions, including how leaders can make people feel safer in Topeka and how they can address the equality so many people are feeling.
“If people aren’t feeling safe in Topeka, then they’re probably not feeling safe somewhere else, so let’s deal with that,” Kagay said. “Let’s take a collective approach to solving that problem because we all have a stake in it. we’re all responsible for it.”
Another protester, Aliyah Gifford agreed. She said the responsibility for bringing change and unity is on everyone, regardless of their race, and hopes Saturday’s rally will be the first step in seeing that change in community’s across America.
“We all need to come together and we need to stop fighting and having this giant war against each other, Gifford said. “If we really do come together, hate and everything will stop.”