Spartanburg officials, community gather in support of peaceful protests

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SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – A group of elected officials, community members, and business leaders met in Spartanburg on Friday to show their support of the peaceful protests taking place locally and across the nation.

“America, we’re tired of being tired,” Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson said. “Change must come and it will come.”

Dozens of Spartanburg residents joined together on Friday to exemplify the “love” in Spartanburg’s motto, “Love where you live.”

“It would be very easy for a number of people in this community to rise up and show you how angry, how mad as hell we all are about what’s going on,” Spartanburg County Councilman Michael Brown said. “And we have the right to be mad as hell.”

City and county officials, local business owners, and other community members shared their thoughts on the death of George Floyd and the protests that have sparked in their own city and across the nation because of it.

“We don’t need to wait until something like this occurs to have this meeting, to have this talk, to have this discussion,” Spartanburg barber Timmigo Burnett said.

They all shared a unified message of inclusion and their efforts to fight against racial injustice and police brutality.

“Every voice–including my own–speaking out for equality, justice, and peace needs to be heard, because enough is enough,” recent Spartanburg High School graduate Mathias Gentry said. “So, let’s not be silent. Let’s use our rights to speak up, stand up, and rise above as one.”

During the event, Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson led the group in an 8-minute and 46-second moment of silence to honor and remember George Floyd.

“I had the intentions of coming up here to kneel and pray, but I kneel and pray all the time. My God tells me I can kneel, lay down, run, walk–it doesn’t matter as long as I’m praying,” Chief Alonzo Thompson said. “I’ll pray without ceasing and I ask that you do the same. Pray to God to heal our land.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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