More than 200 people turn out in Battle Creek vigil for George Floyd

A candlelight vigil on June 4 in downtown Battle Creek was the beginning of the community’s opportunity to come together and express their grief and outrage over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd died on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. The officer and three of his colleagues listened to Floyd repeatedly tell them that he couldn’t breathe while calling out to his mother.

His death has sparked demonstrations in cities throughout the United States and around the world.

The vigil in front of the Calhoun County Justice Complex was hosted by the Battle Creek Coalition for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, and the Southwest Michigan Urban League to honor victims of systematic racism and police brutality.

More than 200 people representing different ages, ethnicities, and genders turned out to participate in an event that featured prayer, song, and poetry.

Among those in attendance was Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker who will be meeting with a group of young people, led by Jenasia Moore, to discuss ways to develop better relationships between his police department and the community's residents, especially those who represent the African American community.  The meeting is scheduled for noon in the police department’s Community Room and will be live-streamed.

Read more articles by Jane Simons.

Jane Simons is a freelance reporter and writer with more than 20 years of experience and also is the owner of In So Many Words based in Battle Creek. She is the Project Editor for On the Ground Battle Creek.