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Peaceful Black Lives Matter Protest in Downtown Orlando Calls For an End to Police Brutality

Carter Smith holds his sign at the Black Lives Matter protest. Photo: Danielle Prieur
Carter Smith holds his sign at the Black Lives Matter protest. Photo: Danielle Prieur

Hundreds of Orlandoans called for an end to police brutality at a Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday outside the Orange County Courthouse.

The protest came a week after George Floyd, an African American, died in police custody. Former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was charged with his murder.

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The crowd held signs and chanted “No Peace, No Justice” and "Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” as they marched in front of the courthouse and up and down along Orange Ave. 

Maiyah Banks, wore a pastel purple wig and held a “Stop Killing Us” sign. 

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Mayiah Banks holds a "Stop Killing Us Sign." Photo: Danielle Prieur[/caption]

Banks said she wanted to be there to represent the past and future victims of police brutality even though she was worried about her own safety in attending. 

"But if I choose to stay home and everybody choose to stay home then nothing will happen. Not at all."

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DaShana Honore was there with her two sons-2-year-old Carter and 5-year-old Noah. 

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DaShana Honore and her sons Carter (l) and Noah (r). Photo: Danielle Prieur[/caption]

Honore said she was worried about her sons' safety but she wanted them to know what it felt like to be in the belly of the beast-even if it was from the back of the crowd.

"I want them to see-you know it’s not something that you bring kids to-but I want them to be here and feel the energy and feel the community of what we have to offer."

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The protest was peaceful with a strong City of Orlando police presence. 

It coincided with Black Lives Matter protests around the country-from Minnesota to Michigan where the first protester died when someone fired into the crowd.

To hear voices from the protest, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.