ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Many African American leaders and supporters across Central Florida are calling for change, unity, and more police accountability after the death of George Floyd. They say it’s time to work together in order to move forward.
Russell Drake was at the Orlando-area protests over the weekend and said he’s like many people, tired of black men being killed at the hands of white people.
“We need to get together and come up with solutions,” Drake said.
He said change starts with more community partnerships and holding police accountable. He also mentioned the importance of voting and being educated on your vote.
“Let’s unite together, let’s keep banning together, the protests and marching show the energy that we have, now let’s focus,” Drake said.
"When is it going to stop?" questioned J Henry, a barber in Orlando.
He said moving forward is tough.
“How can you move forward when you’ve always had a stumbling block in your way? It’s hard to move forward when someone got their knee on your throat and you’re begging for your life,” Henry said.
It’s a conversation on the minds of so many people after a weekend of protests throughout Central Florida that even at times carried over to major interstates and some people even vandalized property.
Many leaders told News 6 they don’t agree with the looting and riots, but they understand.
Barber J. Henry said people are tired. He told News 6 he worries each day about his wife and 16-year-old son.
“I’m married to a cop and work in the hood, trying to have a voice for the community, and a lot of times you don’t know which way to go,” Henry said.
Many leaders say they are calling for the arrests of the other officers in Minneapolis who were involved.