Paragould community joins regional protests for Black Lives Matter

Police Chief joins protesters as they kneel to honor George Floyd

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) -Protesters gathered in Paragould Wednesday evening, taking to the streets to let their voice be heard after the killing of George Floyd.

The march ended at the old Greene County Courthouse, about a mile from where the march began at Harmon Park.

Once there, protesters kneeled in silence for eight minutes, forty-six seconds, and emotions became apparent on the faces of some of the protesters.

In the crowd was Paragould Police Chief Todd Stovall, letting the citizens know he stands with them.

“I want them to know that the Chief of Police and his department support them and to understand that our policies do not support what happened in Minnesota,” Stovall said.

As police marched with protesters, some were met with opposition, while others lent their support.

Organizer Yesenia Hernandez said she'll continue the fight to bring justice to those who are black or brown.

“Brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings of color, the fact that they were brave enough to come up here like I am so completely in awe of each and everyone that came out here,” Hernandez said.

For anyone who questions why the protests continue to occur, Hernandez has this to say.

“If they believe in love, if they believe all humans are created equal and we are saying that we’re treated like we’re not, they should at least listen to us,” Hernandez said. “The very least they should do is listen.”

One protester traveled from Jonesboro and said she’s taking the opportunity to have her voice heard every chance she can get.

“I came up here. I use every opportunity I can to use my voice because I’m tired. We’re all tired.”

While Hernandez is grateful to those who participated Wednesday, she challenged everyone to participate and to be more open to dialogue.

There were questions on if the group reached out to the local NAACP, Hernandez confirmed that she did not have a hand in reaching out, another organizer did. However, it’s unknown if the attempt was successful.

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