Chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” echoed through the streets of South Bend for a second weekend in a row. Hundreds of people showed up Friday night to protest police brutality and demand racial justice.
Activists packed in front of the Morris Performing Arts Center, singing songs and telling stories of negative experiences with police.
Then they filled the streets of South Bend and marched to the county courthouse. Cars drove around the protestors, honking in support of Black Lives Matter.
David Hawkins, one of the protestors, says he feels a responsibility to speak up.
“We don’t want to keep having summers like this," he says. "We don’t want to be out here marching in the street. It is a Friday. I work five days a week. I want to be at home relaxing but I’m out here marching because people are dying in the streets. Black people are dying in the streets.”
Before leaving, people filled the Michigan Street and Colfax Avenue intersection demanding police officers be held accountable.
The protest ended peacefully with very little police presence apparent at the event.
Activists who attended say black lives should be important all the time, not just in moments of crisis. They also called for police reform across the nation and especially in South Bend.
Nearly one year ago Eric Logan, a black man, was shot and killed by a white south bend police officer.
Jahlecia Gregory says she’s marching so people never forget Logan and others who she believes have been victims of police brutality.
“I think everybody likes to think it doesn’t happen in their own city, in their own town," she says. "People need to realize it’s not just something you see on TV or social media.”
More rallies are planned for Monday in South Bend as the common council is expected to vote on pay raises for the City’s police department at a meeting Monday night.
If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating at: https://wvpe.thankyou4caring.org/