Black Lives Matter organizer says people ‘have been hit,’ as rally remembering George Floyd gears up
Saturday’s Black Lives Matter rally in Harrisburg has turned violent as police in riot gear have clashed with protesters near the state capitol, the event’s organizer, Eamonn Wrightstone told PennLive.
A PennLive photographer on the scene also witnessed the clash between police and protesters.
Wrightstone told PennLive via text that police in riot gear showed up during the rally and said, “It’s pretty bad.”
“People have been hit, children have been tear gassed,” he wrote.
In a follow-up text, Wright called what was happening, “scary (stuff)," and said cops were “coming in riot gear from every direction,” and that “helicopters are everywhere.”
“We are peaceful,” he added.
Wright, 19, is a Central Dauphin grad and NYU student who studies social justice work. He and a group of friends said they organized Saturday’s event to allow black voices to be heard after George Floyd died while in police custody in Minneapolis. Video showed officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin has since been fired, and, Friday, he was arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
“What is going on in the other parts of the world … the movements and revolutions, I think we are all just angry and mad and pissed off,” he said. “And, I can’t control how people act. All I can do is say to people, ‘Come out and make your voices heard, and remember we are here to be peaceful and make our voices heard.’
“All I can do is ask for that."