Organizers want peaceful Memphis protests to be a model for rest of the country

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the third time this week, a peaceful protest is being held in Memphis in solidarity with the outrage in Minneapolis and the family and friends of George Floyd.

Friday night’s protest is taking place at the FedEx Forum.

One of the organizers for this protest says he wants how Memphis protests to be a model for the country.

Pastor Devante Hill tells us in a city with deep civil rights history, these peaceful demonstrations in Memphis are a chance to show the greatness in the city.

“We’re at a point where we can grow forward, and I believe if we could grow forward we can be one of the leading cities in the country,” Hill said. “That’s prospering with wealth, that’s prospering with opportunity, that’s prospering with second chances.”

But Hill believes part of this happening depends on specific relationships.

“Between law enforcement and community. That’s going to be the starting place,” Hill said. “If Memphis wants to see  better community, a safer community then law enforcement has got to change the way the community respects them in different ways.”

He thinks what’s happening now is a time for law enforcement to speak up.

“I believe that those young ones, those millennial police officers that have not been embedded into a system or a way of thinking, I believe they can be a catalyst for change,” Hill said. “I call on them to denounce all forms of hatred, all forms of hatred and bigotry and I believe there are some who are on the other side who have these different beliefs and I believe it’s important for the community to hear that.”

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings released a statement in regards to George Floyd’s death this afternoon, saying in part, “there is no explanation for what we witnessed in Minneapolis. The level of force and the disregard for life is sickening.”

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