PHOTOS: Protest in Downtown Bowling Green Draws an Estimated 1,000

Jun 6, 2020

A protestor holding a handmade sign that reads "Being Black Shouldn't be a crime!"
Credit Becca Schimmel

A crowd gathered in Bowling Green Friday to rally for racial equality and police accountability. The march was organized by the BG Freedom Walkers, a new community organization that has only existed for about a week. It was started by a group of friends and like-minded people who wanted to do something in response to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor being killed by police. 

Floyd died in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Breonna Taylor was shot several times by Louisville Metro Police Officers who executed a no-knock warrant on her home. 

Hundreds of people came to the protest with homemade signs and marched from Circus Square Park to the Warren County Justice Center. 

Protestors marching, one with a sign with George Floyd's last words.
Credit Becca Schimmel

Masks were available at a table for everyone, along with birthday cake to commemorate what would have been Taylor's 27th birthday. 

A table set up with masks for protestors.
Credit Becca Schimmel

One speaker stepped up and read the names of black people who have been killed by police. The speaker, along with others in the crowd, struggled to get through the list without crying. 

A protestor with her fist in the air, tearing up from hearing the names of black people who have been killed by police officers.
Credit Becca Schimmel

A moment of silence was held in honor of Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time the police officer had his knee on Floyd's neck before he died. 

People kneeling and laying on the ground for the moment of silence.
Credit Becca Schimmel

Law enforcement was also at the protest, singing along and repeating chants with the crowd. Assistant Bowling Green Police Department Chief Mike Delaney spoke to the crowd, saying he was there as a peace officer before leading the crowd in a chant saying George Floyd's name. 

Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower and Assistant BGPD Chief Mike Delaney expressing their support to the crowd.
Credit Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Civil Rights Activist Charles Neblett also attended the rally and said he's been in this fight since he was 13 years old. He said he got involved after Emmit Till was lynched. There were many protestors who had never been to a march before, and others who talked about not wanting to be marching for the same type of change in 30 years. 

A woman listening to speakers wearing a shirt that reads "The March Continues."
Credit Becca Schimmel

The night ended with a return to Circus Square Park, where protestors danced, shared birthday cake and celebrated the lives of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and other black people who have died during encounters with law enforcement.