KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Several hundred protesters met at Spring Valley Park in Kansas City, Missouri, and marched to KCPD East Patrol Division Station at 2640 Prospect Ave., chanting “Black Lives Matter” toward a row of police officers and Missouri National Guardsmen, who encircled the station as a precaution.
Friday marked the eighth straight night of protests around Kansas City after the death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis, but this was the first organized demonstration on the city's east side during that time.
"I want police to know that we can peacefully protest without having to tear things down and to get attention,” march organizer Lauren Taylor said.
Each protester had a personal reason why they marched.
"I have three kids and they’re black, and I don’t want them to ever have to fear for their lives from the police," marcher Lola Brignoni said. "Police are supposed to keep us safe, and that was what I was taught growing up. And I want them to feel that the police are safe."
Taylor said she wants police to stop fearing Kansas City's black residents, too.
"I just want them to understand that we are not a threat and being black is not a crime," she said. "I want them to try and understand that it hurts us when we see other people get killed for no reason."
This march is personal for Laurie Bey. She’s the mother of Cameron Lamb, who was killed last December by a KCPD officer.
"My son is no longer here," Bey said. "He has no voice, so I have to stand for him to speak so there can be some changes here in Kansas City."
According to KCPD, detectives followed Lamb behind his house and said he pointed a gun at an officer and another officer shot Lamb.
"There is still some information that I still do not know regarding his case," Bey said. "I want justice served for my son."
There isn’t video evidence of what happened to Lamb, but with the announcement that funding has been secured for KCPD to get body-worn cameras for all officers Bey hopes it will provide more clarity on such instances in the future.
"If they’re going to have the cameras, use them," she said. "tThat’s what you need to do, use them. Let us be able to have access to whatever it is that is being done out here in our community not say, 'Oh, we have them' and withhold all the information for yourself."
Bey said she feels for Floyd’s family as they grieve the loss of a loved one.
"The family of George Floyd, I am so sorry for the loss," Bey said. " But I know that in his death it has raised such awareness that due to his death this is going to cause changes worldwide."