Hundreds protest Sunday in Springfield following the death of George Floyd.
With a superhero mask covering most of her face and hands held high, 6-year-old Isis Vault helped her father put together the signs they brought to a protest Sunday.
One listed the names of black people who’ve been killed during police altercations, including Tamir Rice, who was shot by police while holding an airsoft weapon, Breonna Taylor, who was fatally shot by police in her sleep, and George Floyd, who died Memorial Day after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck as he cried out that he could not breathe.
Sheldon Vault said he hopes to teach his daughter that standing on the sidelines doesn’t help them.
“If we don’t do nothing, nothing will ever, ever get done,” he said. “Silence is just as bad as violence. I think it’s important to teach my daughter what’s right and what’s wrong. She’s right now realizing that she’s growing up in a time where a lot of stuff is wrong, and she wants to do what’s right.”
The Vaults joined hundreds of people on day three of protests Sunday in Springfield. The group walked down Battlefield Road, not once but twice. First, along the sidewalks and then in the roadway.
Chants of “What did he do? Nothing. What was his name? George Floyd.” along with “Black Lives Matter” reverberated among the protesters.
Among the protesters were Wyatt Shaw and Mike Hylton. Both walked the first round in the middle of the five-lane street to help urge the crowd to keep to the sidewalks. Police informed them at the start that they would not be able to shut down traffic.
“We are walking in the middle of the street to make sure if they do cross the street, they do cross safely,” Shaw said.
The turnout was amazing, Shaw said.
“It’s a hot day, but it’s a beautiful day because people are actually coming together as one, and they getting the message out,” he told the News-Leader.
Hylton said he was emotional at seeing how many people came out to the protests over the weekend.
Floyd’s Memorial Day death came as the latest high-profile fatal encounter between black people and white law enforcement this year.
Just weeks before, national news outlets had begun reporting on the February shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery by a former police officer and his son in south Georgia.
State police arrested the two men, who are both white, in connection with the shooting last week.
And on Friday, protesters in Louisville, Kentucky took to the streets to demand justice for Taylor, the emergency room tech who was shot and killed in March.
Other protests have cropped in cities big and small, from New York City and Los Angeles to Lincoln, Nebraska and Elmira, New York.
Many demonstrations have been peaceful, though some have devolved into vandalism and looting in Minneapolis and other cities like Atlanta and Pittsburgh, prompting leaders there to plead for peace and blame some violence on outside agitators.
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