Gathering on top of the Veterans Memorial Bridge near downtown Mankato about 30 community members came to protest police violence on yet another death at the hands of police.
Shortly before jurors convicted Derek Chauvin on all three charges for the murder of George Floyd, Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl, was shot and killed outside her home by police after she’d called them for help.
Bryant called the Columbus Police Department to report that a group of “older kids” had threatened her with assault, Hazel Bryant, Ma’Khia’s aunt, told the Ohio Statehouse News Bureau.
Jasmine D’Avilar, no stranger to speaking out against racism and police brutality, has organized many protest with StandUpMankato since Floyd’s murder.
Just last Monday she organized the protest event after Daunte Wright was killed by police in Brooklyn Center. Dozens joined her.
“We’ve been battling every single day for a year for George Floyd and for it to finally come to some elements of closure as far as his murderer being locked behind bars, it brings us some hope,” D’Avilar said. “The system is still failing us every single day as we saw because shortly before the verdict was released Ma’Khia Bryant was killed.”
Body cam footage was released of the incident showing the officer opening fire on the young girl.
“In terms of getting shot by the hands of the police it’s not just men, it’s not just adults, it’s not just criminals, it’s everybody, it’s all of us, that’s why we’re here. We are here for a young girl who died,” Daniel Marshall, a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato, said.
With Bryant being so young, her death resonated with many people nationwide.
“This hit home for me because I am Ma’Khia Bryant, I can sympathize with her on a whole different level. I have a black daughter and son and I want to see them grow up,” protester Shadow Rolae said. “We as black people are in the fight of our lives. Imagine waking up everyday seeing another black person publicly executed by the people who are supposed to protect us.”
The group of diverse individuals who came out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement came with open ears and open hearts.
“I have an 8-year-old kid and I can’t imagine being a black mother with a black child and seeing a black child being murdered. If anything, we as white people need to at least be here to show our support,” protester Loretti King said.
Protesters all over the nation are going out into their own communities to fight for justice for Ma’Khai Bryant.
“It is easy for us to be out here. We are never going to understand or imagine what people of color or black women go through,” protester Holland Petersen said.