WASHINGTON - There were more protests across the nation on Friday and more are expected throughout the weekend. In the nation’s capital, demonstrators gathered for a second straight day in a row seeking justice for two black men killed in separate shooting incidents by police.
Friday night’s protest was peaceful and never got unruly. People for the most part were respectful of each other and respectful of the many police officers standing watch over the demonstration.
The protesters started off in front of the Department of Justice chanting and they lit candles flanked by more than a dozen officers with D.C. police and Homeland Security. The protesters marched around the building before heading to the White House.
There were about several dozen protesters in front of the White House, but it was a much smaller crowd compared to Thursday night’s protest.
The organizer of Friday’s protest called the ambush shooting in Dallas reprehensible and devastating. Desiree Joy Frias told FOX 5 that you can be supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and police while still feel equally devastated about the violence we have seen in our country this week across the board.
Frias and other protesters said this rally was not meant to be anti-police.
“Behind the badge is a human being and we just want those human beings to be held accountable for what they do on their job, especially if it leads to ending the life of another person.” Frias said. “This is not us versus them. This is not blue versus black. This is holding people accountable in a society where we have a justice system.”
“I definitely think we can come together in unity and co-exist,” said protester Gabriela Grant. “It doesn’t have to be war on one another. We can come together and be in unity because using fire to fight with fire just creates a larger fire. So there is really no solution with that.”
There was a lot of security out for the demonstration on Friday, but there did not appear to be any sort of disrespect or aggression toward police. A moment that stood out on this night was when someone driving by stopped and rolled down his window to thank officers for the job they do.
These protests are expected to continue throughout the weekend across the D.C. region.
Protesters marching to Chinatown and White House pic.twitter.com/teD76ZySD3— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) July 8, 2016
Protest in front of White House already winding down. Everything peaceful in the 3 hours this has been going on pic.twitter.com/POaVPGVhsv— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) July 8, 2016