SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) –What began as a peaceful protest in recognition of George Floyd, the Minnesota man who died in the hands of police last week, escalated to violence in Sioux City Sunday night.
Protestors threw rocks at police officers with five officers being reported as injured and one of the windows of the station was broken. Monday, local advocates say that this isn’t the way to create change in the community.
“We are human beings and black lives do matter, officers lives matter. So again, it’s not us against them, it’s how do we bring this together, how do we heal our communites? By going out and rioting is not the anwser,” said Monique Scarlett, the founder of Unity in the Community.
After hours of a peaceful protest Sunday night, violence broke out resulting in the arrest of 15 people. Now community activists are asking protestors to keep the peace.
“When we see that video, where mister Floyd said “I can’t breathe” as a nation, as a local city, we have to keep breathing for mister Floyd and breathing, is living breathing is channeling those energies in a positive manner,” said Scarlett.
Sergent Jeremy McClure says the police have continued to work with organizers to try to keep the protests as safe as possible.
“If you look at previous protests, we have taken efforts to try to protect them from traffic and provide them with any support they need. We don’t want anyone to get hurt during one of these. We are fine with being protested. We are fine with being yelled at, you know, having people air their grievances, but we just want people to be safe,” said McClure.
Local NAACP President Ike Rayford also says that violence is not the path to change.
“We understand that violence has not and is not and will not solve the problems that we won’t solve. We have got to come together and be one voice and one meaning and just stand unified and say, ‘Hey, this is what we want and what we demand and what we hope our government will listen to,'” Rayford said.
Both community activists says that those protesting for change should reach out to government leaders and make sure to vote.