Protests shift to memorializing Floyd amid push for change

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The tenor of the protests set off by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police has taken a turn from the explosive anger that has fueled the setting of fires, breaking of windows and other violence to a quiet, yet more forceful, grassroots call for more to be done to address racial injustice.

Many of the protests were more subdued for a second night as marches Thursday turned into memorials for Floyd, who was the focus of a heartfelt tribute Thursday in Minneapolis that drew family members, celebrities, politicians and civil rights advocates. At his service, strong calls were made for meaningful changes in policing and the criminal justice system.

Despite the shift in tone, protesters have shown no sign that they are going away and, if anything, are emboldened to stay on the streets to push for police reforms. Story continuesFloyd's golden casket was covered in red roses, and an image was projected above the pulpit of a mural of Floyd painted at the street corner where he was arrested by police on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store. The message on the mural: “I can breathe now.”As the protests have taken root over the past week, they have become communities unto themselves.

A group of protesters stood near a line of police and National Guard troops. Some cursed officers. Others were seen talking to the officers. It was a different scene from last Friday, when the city experienced widespread vandalism and looting following a peaceful demonstration. “This protest won’t just stop here,” junior safety Caden Sterns said. “To the white community ... if you want change like you say you do, you must change. What I mean is, you must realize, and the oppressor must realize, you are oppressing.”

The calm in Seattle followed a weekend of chaos that saw police vehicles burned and stores looted, and officers on Monday and Tuesday nights used pepper spray, tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

 

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Did the pregnant girl he beat up and robbed get to sign the memorial?

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