After the recent death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died at the hands of police there have been protests all over the nation.
This continues tonight in the peace garden state. Reporter Aaron Fields was on the scene.
Peaceful protestor Mary Kempenich says, “I came out here because I firmly believe if justice is to prevail good people have to speak up even if they aren’t the people who are getting hurt. And when people who aren’t impacted by violence don’t say anything– you’re making the problem worse.”
Hundreds of people gathered today in Bismarck to not only mourn the loss of George Floyd, but to peacefully make a stand for the the Black Lives Matter movement.
Another peaceful protestor Karen Clayton says, “However I know that a lot of individuals who want to be apart of something larger than themselves –they want to have solidarity and and have support and be able to express how they are feeling.”
This was Karen Clayton’s first Black Lives Matter Movement and she says it’s been breaking her heart to see all the violent protests going on in the world right now.
“At the end of the day what have we accomplished– we have accomplished blowing off steam,” says Clayton. “And when I say we– we are all connected. We have accomplished separating each other even more so. We are not accomplishing what we can.”
Clayton says if we can’t come together in peace and take this moment as a way to grow then we are doing it all wrong. Clayton tells me she thinks some people have been taking advantage of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“Yes… black lives matter, white lives matter, oriental lives matter, African American lives matter, eskimo’s lives matter, natives, all lives matter. We matter to god and we have to matter to each other,” says Clayton.
From her experience here in North Dakota, she says she’s always felt protected by the police force. And not to judge one bad apple from the bunch.
They are here to protect us,” says Clayton. “Only one person or two people can’t speak for everyone and I just always want to see something positive.”
Clayton does always see the positive… even during our interview when a random truck passing by yelled out racial slurs.
“F**** BLACK LIVES and F**** YOU,” they shouted.
But Clayton’s response: “Yeah I just saw that flag when it made that right turn and I felt the spirt before it opened it’s mouth, but I learned we have to pray for people when we see stuff like that.”
Her next words were “I’m not moved by darkness– I’m moved by love.”
“We can only overcome evil with love and with good and not more evil. It doesn’t work–and I refuse to live in the dark because I am the light.”
There was also a vigil candle-light ceremony in honor of George Floyd. After 9 tonight, cops were stationed around the city but KX News didn’t see any signs of continued protest.