Black Lives Matter supporters hold protest in Elkton
About two dozen attend march
ELKTON — Town streets rang out with the chant “All lives matter, black lives matter” on Sunday night as about two dozen protesters marched downtown to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The peaceful Black Lives Matter rally started at the entrance of Meadow Park at about 5: 30 p.m. The group then walked down Delaware Avenue toward the Elkton Circuit Court, before walking down North Street and ending at the town hall.
The goal of the event was to bring about awareness of police brutality as well as increase police involvement with the community, said one of the organizers, Amber Bishop.
Sunday’s protest came at a time when race relations and police shootings have been thrust into the national spotlight. Earlier this month, two black men – one in Louisiana and Minnesota – were killed during police stops, and five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper who allegedly was seeking revenge on police.
And just a few hours before Sunday’s protest, three police officers were killed and another three wounded in a shooting in Baton Rouge.
During the rally, Rev. R. Kevin Brown, of Wright’s A.M.E. Church, spoke to the group about coming together as a community and said that police brutality is
“I’m out here in support of the movement. Black lives do matter, but all lives matter,” Brown said.
He said the goal is to have a peaceful rally where people’s voices will be heard and where people can talk to local officials and police about issues in the future.
Brown said the group is not anti- law enforcement, but is also not in favor of police officers who abuse their power and do not care about their communities.
As part of the protest, the group held a moment of silence for the police officers who were injured and killed during the incidents in Baton Rouge and Dallas.
Brown said that the com- munity must also do their part through being active in the local government, going to school and not participating in illegal activities such as selling drugs.
At the end of the rally, the group formed a circle and several Elkton police officers, including Chief Matthew Donnelly held hands while Brown spoke.
“We must do our part,” Brown said to the group outside of Elkton Town Hall.
After the rally, Bishop said the next step is to meet with Donnelly.
“We’re going to have a meeting with the chief about changing some things,” Bishop said.
She said the meeting will address diversifying the police department as well as ways to involve the police with the community.
Elkton resident Imani Golphin said she par- ticipated in the protest to show her support.
“I’m just here for unity in the community and for peace for all the family members who lost their lives from gun violence or police violence,” Golphin said.
Kathy Watson, an Elkton resident, said she came to the protest because her two daughters wanted to participate and she wanted to make sure they were OK.
“I think it’s good to bring awareness to police brutality,” Watson said. “All lives matter.”
She said she hopes the demonstration will bring about “some kind of change” and that police officers become more involved with the community and vice versa.
North East resident Adrienne Demby said she believed the message of the peaceful rally came across.
“We want to reach some form of unity in the community,” she said.
Prior to Sunday night’s protest, Donnelly said he had no problem with the march.
“It’s their First Amend- ment right to protest, to express their views,” he said. “As long as it stays peaceful, there is no problem.”
Black Lives Matter supporters held a protest in downtown Elkton on Sunday night.
Black Lives Matter supporters gather in downtown Elkton on Sunday night.