Peaceful and impassioned rally in Jonesboro shut down roads for brief periods

Peaceful and impassioned rally in Jonesboro shut down roads for brief periods

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A march was held Sunday afternoon in Jonesboro in the aftermath of recent protests around the country involving the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The Jonesboro March for Justice started at 3 p.m. Sunday.

For the most part, the march and protest were peaceful.

Two people were arrested, one for a man driving up to the march and pulling a gun in a threatening manner, and the second was a protestor towards the end of the night who was arrested for throwing something off the Caraway Road and I-555 overpass.

For less than an hour, the area along Caraway Road and I-555 was blocked off due to protesters, according to the Jonesboro Police Department Desk Sergeant.

Idrivearkansas.com reported that the road had been blocked off around 7:20 p.m. Sunday.

Jonesboro Police Department Public Information Specialist Sally Smith said police have received reports of people throwing items off the overpass bridge and officers are working to move the people from the area.

Police Chief Rick Elliott told Region 8 News someone has been arrested for that incident.

Also, an arrest was made in connection with an incident earlier Sunday after a man reportedly pulling out a gun in front of people at the protest march along Caraway Road.

Witnesses reported that around 4:15 p.m., a man had exited his vehicle and presented a gun in a threatening manner towards the crowd.

No one was hurt, and no names have been released.

An arrest has been made in connection to an aggravated assault that took place during the afternoon protest on Caraway...

Posted by Jonesboro Police Department on Sunday, May 31, 2020
Two arrested during Sunday protests

MARCH HELD

The march began at the Burlington lot in the 1500 block of South Caraway Road and went to the Jonesboro police station.

A marcher said she was proud to be a part of the movement that helps show the area in a positive light.

“You know, we already have a whole bunch of attention on it now and it’s a lot of negativity,” Brittney Blake said. “So, this is something positive that’s going to bring attention to it. It means so much and I believe in Jonesboro. You know, we’ve seen Jonesboro’s greatness over the last few months and this is just another reason that I love my community.”

The march continued on and off down Caraway Road, stopping sometimes at businesses and other times closing the road for up to 30 minutes or more.

Jonesboro police escorted the marchers from time to time to ensure safety.

Throughout the night, the marching continued up and down Caraway, briefly closing intersections to allow safe passage for both motorists and marchers.

The marchers eventually came back to Jonesboro police headquarters.

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin also released a statement Sunday about the march.

Jonesboro Mayor on Protests

“I am grateful to the peaceful protestors, as they marched for a passionate cause that touches hearts all across America. I am very proud of Jonesboro Police Department for escorting the marchers, and I am proud that our officers responded with compassion and understanding, as well as safety, in mind,” Perrin said. “We need to understand that while peaceful protest and freedom of speech are inherent American rights, these problems are going to be solved with dialogue and determination rather than emotion in the moment.”

Perrin said Floyd’s death should also allow residents and public servants to look inward.

“George Floyd’s tragic and irresponsible death should make all public servants review our practices, because we should always look to better. I am proud of Jonesboro. We are residents with different backgrounds, different perspectives and different emotions. But we all understand the pain of a death cause by those who are supposed to protect us. And we all want to live in the best Jonesboro possible,” Perrin said. “I look forward to more dialogue with the community, from all corners of our diverse and expanding city.”

Region 8 News will have more details as they become available.

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