LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Since the murder of George Floyd just days ago, protests and demonstrations have broken out across the country, including right here in southwest Oklahoma.
On Sunday, people from both near and far, making their voices heard: They want change.
“It takes everybody coming together and working on that systemic change, because the only way that we can move forward is through the peaceful protests," and then, like I said when I was speaking, is that next is that getting together and having those partnerships," said Onreka Johnson, Lawton City Council Member for Ward 7. "That’s what it’s going to take.”
Councilwoman Johnson took the podium and encouraged citizens that city leaders and law enforcement are working together to ensure a safer future for all in our southwest Oklahoma community.
“I know the chief and I are going to get together and talk about some things that we can do in order to build and foster relationships with the police department and our young people, especially our youth, and just kind of build some trust and things like that and as they grow up they’ll have the trust with the police department," said Councilwoman Johnson.
Two individuals at the protest said going about it peacefully sets the right example for the rest of the country.
“Unity is the key,” said Tyrone Turner. “We have to stand for accountability. So, it’s historic for Oklahoma. We were here to show Dallas, Texas, to show South Carolina, to show Phoenix, Arizona and Minneapolis how we can come together as one group, one organization and be unified under the body. So it’s historic. So, I’m proud I was able to come out and be a part of this, to show everybody else it could be done. It could be done with respect, and that’s what we displayed here today amongst all these people.”
“We all came in peace, and that’s all we asked for is peace," said Katrina Quave. "Treat each one of them with kindness and respect, you know, and hopefully we don’t have to do this ever again.”
Councilwoman Johnson said the peaceful protest is a good start, but there is so much more ahead.
“We just want everyone, if you have any questions or any ideas, definitely ideas, to reach out to us and we’ll do our best to try to implement some of those ideas, as well," said Councilwoman Johnson. "That’s what’s important. The more we hear from the community, the more that we can move forward and work together.”