Royce White towers above the Minneapolis protests, and thousands are looking up to him

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Former NBA prospect embraces his role as a protest leader in Minneapolis, drawing thousands to peaceful rallies demanding justice.

MINNEAPOLIS — Royce White strode with calm determination in a black suit and white dress shirt, his lean frame, bald head and black beard impossible to miss at 6-foot-8. The chanting group of 200 behind him quickly swelled to thousands.

And again Sunday night, White led another march, this one again drawing thousands of black-clad protesters in an effort to take a knee en masse, to shut down the highway in silence, to emulate Colin Kaepernick’s now-famous football stadium protest. White is one of the freshest emerging leaders in this new civil rights moment, which began as incidents of police brutality began to be captured on smartphones and shared widely online. The movement largely has been characterized by loosely governed populist organizations such as Black Lives Matter, which are as notable for their nationwide presence as their lack of a singular figurehead. For this moment, there is no Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X, and much of that has been by design.

Marcus Williams, a former National Football League cornerback and White’s childhood friend, said he first noticed White was different from his peers in the fourth grade. One day that year, the youth basketball team Williams and White played for was being punished for some infraction, Williams said, with conditioning drills.“One of our teammates fell and passed out and Royce was tripping, and we couldn’t understand why,” Williams says.

“And what do you get when you walk away?” White said. “ ‘We’re sorry about that. We apologize.’ What if I had gotten up and ran? Any trust I had in the police really went away in that instant.”

Source: Law Daily Report (lawdailyreport.net)

 

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