KALAMAZOO, Mich. — An estimated 100 people gathered at the Michigan Avenue courthouse Kalamazoo for a Black Lives Matter protest.
The protesters marched along the Kalamazoo Mall and looped around Rose Street on April 16, 2021. In a speech in front of the courthouse, the event organizer said they're not here to protest for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or Daunte Wright.
"We’re here to protest for all the Black people whose names we don’t know, for all violence done to them that wasn’t filmed, that’s why we’re here and we don’t want to be, we shouldn’t have to be,” said Ryan.
Ryan, did not reveal his last name, was event organizer who led the protest and is part of Uplift Kalamazoo.
Other people at the protest said they attended to to express how tired they are of police brutality and racism.
"Keeping the names alive of unarmed Black men and women killed in the streets by police, a problem that continues to happen while we go through a trial of another one,” Quinton Bryant, an activist and community organizer, said. “We're still not being heard, obviously, we should have to be out here doing this, no one should be out here doing this, nobody wants to be traumatized day in and day out looking at the videos for it.”
Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Vernon Coakley and Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema were among the city officials that attended the protest.
Coakley said he attended the protest to support the community and to make sure the people had their voices heard.
He said he loves Kalamazoo.
“If Kalamazoo is hurting were all hurting,” said Coakley. “I’m asking our leadership to step up, to be here walk with us as a community."