KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – People in the Kansas City community are coming together Sunday morning to help clean up after a night of protests, over the death of George Floyd, turned violent in the Country Club Plaza area.
Floyd, a black man, died while in Minneapolis police custody. On Friday, former Officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, was charged in his murder.
Protests initially broke out in Minneapolis after Floyd’s death but have since spread across the nation in the days since.
One Kansas City resident said she was out doing her morning walk Sunday when she saw people cleaning up around the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain and decided to join in on the help.
“I think for what happened last night, this is not how they leave our city,” Beverly, a KC resident said. “Kansas City’s beautiful and they are allowed to protest in the park but they should have a different voice. They should of had a prayer vigil last night, all night long, so we can break the stronghold, so our city can continue to function and we can send a positive message to other cities.”
Willie Evans, who was with Beverly cleaning up Sunday, was at the Plaza Saturday night, peacefully protesting before things turned violent.
“I was here for a couple hours yesterday and left before things got crazy,” Evans said. The vast majority of things were very peaceful. I woke up this morning with people upset about the trash and the graffiti. The trash can be picked up. I’ve been here an hour and a half and most of the trash has been picked up but that’s not the thing that really matters here. You can’t wake up in the morning and replace a human life. People are dead and if this trash is the thing you are concerned about, you need to rethink your perspective. There’s a conversation that needs to be had and solutions that need to be found.
Beverly said local officers have been very grateful and have thanked all the people helping Sunday morning.
“They are so amazing, Beverly said. “I just want to tell the public please stop the violence here. Our officers are children of some mothers. I’m a mother and I don’t want for these officers and their moms to feel the pain that they feel watching how people are being abusive to them.”
Police tell FOX4, a few officers were sent to the hospital with injuries after protesters threw rocks at them.
Protests are planned again later Sunday.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has declared a State of Emergency in response to the protests around the state that he described as creating hazards that are beyond the abilities of local authorities to manage.
The declaration activates the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri Highway Patrol to help supplement local police forces.