Tourist says he’s unsettled by Beale Street protest, but understands the message

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the second night in a row Thursday, demonstrators gathered in Memphis following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.

This time instead of protesting on Union Avenue they marched past the world famous bars and restaurants along Beale Street.

Local pastor and activist Devante Hill was among the dozens demonstrating.

“Tonight we are talking about injustice that comes from behind the badge. I’ve been a victim of it so many times. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pulled over, thrown in the back of a car in this city and let go.”

Also out Thursday night was tourist Matt Barbour and his family.

“Last night was kind of spooky, it was disturbing,” Barbour said. “We are here to have fun and to enjoy ourselves.”

Instead he found himself captivated by the crowd of protestors. Though unsettling at times, he said it’s still understandable.

“It appears that people do have racial tension and they should when people are being treated unfairly,” he said.

Barbour said he is certainly compassionate for those who are demonstrating. He also added he’s hopeful things will get back to normal along the iconic Beale Street.

“Hopefully we will get through this, and will get better. Hopefully our society will get better if we just love and care for each other,” he said.

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