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KC protester: ‘I’m tired of people being hashtags’

Posted at 10:00 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 23:00:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One woman who participated in Sunday night’s protest in response to the death of George Floyd said she is tired of people becoming hashtags.

“I promise my son won't be a hashtag,” said Missy, who did not provide her last name. “And I'm tired of people's sons and fathers and uncles and aunts and grandmothers and I'm tired of people being hashtags. I'm tired of my people being just a hashtag. I'm tired of them showing our lynchings on social media, on the news, I'm tired of it.”

Missy said she has not seen – and will not watch – the video of Floyd’s arrest, in which now-former officer Derek Chauvin is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

“I'm not watching any more black life being shed in the streets by people that I pay my taxes to,” she said. “So this is – we pay our taxes for their salaries. We go to work. We are – we cooperate in this community. So if we want to disrupt it to get change, that's what we will do. We will do it today. We will do it tomorrow. We have done it in the past. And we will continue to do it forevermore until there is change.”

She also said she wants her son to leave “this world surrounded by his family and of old age.”

“I don't want my son to have to fear driving or jogging or walking or getting Skittles or playing in the park or doing anything — sleeping in his house,” Missy said. “I want him to be able to live the same life and rights that white people live in this country. There's a very good possibility that he might not and that's why I'm out here.”

Missy was one of thousands of protesters who gathered on the Country Club Plaza Sunday in Kansas City.

The protests have occurred nightly since Friday after Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.