BINGHAMTON, NY – Another Black Lives Matter protest march weaved its way from Binghamton’s Northside into downtown last night.
As NewsChannel 34’s James Atherlay shows us, while emotions ran high, the event ended without violence.
Peaceful protests continued deep into the night last night in Binghamton.
The event began at Cheri Lindsey Park, where a large crowd gathered to listen to several speakers as they spoke out against the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
Organizers used personal stories, poetry, and a demand for racial justice as they spoke out against instances of police brutality and harassment.
“When will we as black people stop questioning our worth, stop denying our power, stop casting aside our crowns, wondering whose turn it is to lead the fight?” the protest organizer asked.
Other speakers observed how long protests like these have been taking place.
One told a story about being detained by officers in another part of the country purely because of the color of her skin.
She said her family did not know where she was for a week.
Another woman noticed how history keeps repeating itself.
“My aunt sent me a picture today of me wearing an ‘I can’t breathe’ shirt six years ago, following the death of Eric Garner. She said ‘It’s crazy to me that this still stands. You were preaching to people six years ago, and they still don’t hear it,” the speaker noted.
Another man expressed disappointment in national leadership, saying the people must be properly informed.
“We must continue to come together, not just here, but across cities. We must educate ourselves on policies, on the people we are voting for, and we must put the right people in the right positions,” said another speaker.
After about 45 minutes, protestors began marching down Chenango Street, over the viaduct, and into downtown where they assembled outside City Hall where the Binghamton police station is located.
Speakers led chants and protestors got down on their knees and raised their hands.
They also observed a minute of silence
.Members of the Binghamton Police, State Police and Broome County Sheriff’s Office stood silently at attention and observed.
Some protesters taunted and threatened the officers, however, Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski tells NewsChannel 34 that the majority of protestors were peacefully exercising their constitutional rights.
The crowd had a mix of both black and white participants.