George Floyd's death hit home in Porterville on Saturday night.
Young people marched down Main Street to protest the death of George Floyd. It was estimated there were more than 150 protestors who protested throughout downtown Porterville, making their way to such spots as in front of the Porterville Police Department, City Hall and Centennial Park.
Numerous Porterville Police Officers were also out and about to make sure the protest remained peaceful. The officers did so without interfering with the protest.
It was the same with bystanders and those in the community out and about on Main Street as they also didn't interfere with the protest. Those in their vehicles patiently navigated by as the protestors marched down Main Street with many honking their horns in support.
Virtually all of the protestors appeared to be high school and college age. Eduardo Bermudez, 21, said he showed up to protest after seeing a message about it on Twitter. “I didn't ask questions,” Bermudez said. “I just showed up here.”
As the protestors marched down Main Street, one of the chants that could be heard from them was “Black Lives Matter.” Another protestor could be heard yelling “Justice For George.”
George Floyd is an African-American man who died in Minneapolis, Minn., after police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Chauvin has been charged with third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
“I think it's important to be out here to show this kind of protest is all right and spread the word,” said the 21-year-old Bermudez, who added he's a part-time student at Porterville College and a seasonal worker.
Bermudez was at the corner of Centennial Park holding with another protestor an American flag with “Black Lives Matter” printed on it.
“The situation needs changing. Everything is not OK. It's important we get our voice. It doesn't get any more complicated than that.
“It's important to show that the small towns like here in Porterville — everybody has their voices, their causes.”
When asked if it was important that the protest be peaceful, Bermudez said, “Of course. Any intention of destruction or rioting is separate from what we're doing here today.”
Bermudez said Porterville Police officers did tell the protestors “that they're here to protect us” and that they were there to manage the situation and “to make sure everybody is OK at the end of the day. That it's a peaceful protest.”
Bermudez said protests like the one on Saturday are important because “everybody needs to speak up and become part of the process.”