Hundreds gathered in Bowling Green on Friday night as part of the global protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

The “We Need Justice” protest was organized by Karika Nelson, a Bowling Green native who founded the BG Freedom Walkers group more than a week ago amid public outcry over recent police-involved deaths of black Americans.

“Everybody’s upset, everybody’s tired, everybody can understand how George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s families feel, but you can’t (fight) violence with violence,” Nelson said.

Taylor, a black woman, was fatally shot by Louisville police in mid-March during a no-knock raid. No one has been charged in Taylor’s death, but her mother, Tamika Palmer, has called for the arrest of the officers involved.

George Floyd, also black, died last month when then-Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd pleaded for air. Chauvin, who is white, has been fired and charged with murder.

The BG Freedom Walkers hosted several protests over the last few days, and Nelson said the group is in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization.

“This is something for the community to try to implement change,” Nelson said.

People held signs at the protest that read, “Black Lives Matter,” “Skin color is not a weapon” and “No justice, no peace,” among others.

Attendees filled Circus Square Park – many of whom held signs and wore face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic – and listened to speakers before marching through the streets.

“The whole (city of) Bowling Green is here,” said LaToya White, who has attended two other BG Freedom Walkers protests. “(I want) the nation to come together, because God is love. It doesn’t matter what color we are, because we all breathe the same.”

From prayers to a ballad of “Amazing Grace,” more than 10 speakers spread their message to the crowd, including local ministers, an attorney, a teacher and Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower.

Attendee Tyler Hunter, a lifelong Bowling Green resident, said people need to do more than protest.

“We need to implement a plan of action … (by) merging (cultures) together, finding some type of common ground to where we can better understand each other so we’re not discriminating from one another, or having biased opinions about one another,” he said. “We are one … we all pay taxes, we all work, we all want society (and) this country to thrive, and we all have to work together in order for that to happen.”

Hunter also said he believes Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman’s call last week for bias training in public schools should extend into other industries, including social service fields and law enforcement.

“Anyone where you’re dealing with or working with a variety of ethnicities and race, you should have that training and that education,” he said.

– Follow Multimedia Journalist Emily Zantow on Twitter @EmilyZantowNews or visit bgdailynews.com.

(11) comments

The_Shadow_Knows

Wonder what percentage of these young geniuses will soon be having Covid-19? I am sure the excellent folks at Black Lives Matter will risk their lives providing them hospital care, not all these privileged doctors and nurses.

OccupyBowlingGreen

Do you or somebody you know think that #AbolishThePolice is unrealistic? It might be because you haven’t taken the time to understand what it means, the reasons for it, and why it actually makes a lot of sense. [Thread] https://twitter.com/TravelingNun/status/1268510968579002369

ghost42103

I believe the last controversial use of force by police in Bowling Green was when the black officer punched the white lady who was handcuffed. Was justice served in that case?

Dr. Strangelove

This is a common tactic the anarchists and communists use to subvert the "useful idiots" as Lenin said to follow their cause and "feel" there is Social Justice. It's all a political play to destroy the Constitution and put it in their hands. There is no institutional racism. The demands by the Communist Black Lives Matter for all those stupid whites to bow down and apologize is the same demand the Khmer Rouge and Mao used on their people. Eventually killing millions who didn't comply with their Enlightenment. They are pawns and nothing more. A product of our education systems and the propaganda media. 500 years from now they'll still be whining the same BS. Love and kisses to everyone. Now! Back to your pens for further instruction from your Bowel Movement leaders. And you think you're doing something significant1 Hahahahaha!

OccupyBowlingGreen

So many racists in Bowling Green. Get them fired, evicted, and if they own a business expose them to social media so the world can shut down their company. Enough!

Parameter Estimator

Warren county has 128,000 people as a result of the resetttlement programs, and approximately 45,000 paid workers during economic thriving. Approximately 3,000 businesses. It's one of the bleakest job pictures in America short of a coal town. It's probably not good for you to try to destroy the economy for all those migrants who were coming into the tune of 4,000-5,000 per year until Trump cut down the number and made BG lose it's top growth spot as a result. There really aren't any more fatted calfs the leftists can choke in the economics of this community. All those riches you see being constructed everywhere are for people who benefit from Medicaid payments.

ghost42103

Yes, I have been exposed to a lot of the racists who think ONLY black lives matter. Here is your opportunity, name those racist business owners that you say are so widespread in BG.

Enough Already

This the largest number of stupid young people I have seen in BG in one spot, with the exception of the campus of WKU. The most humorous part has to be the white kids with their fist in the air giving the black panther salute. These ignorant morons are supporting the very people who are using them in order to riot and loot. I have watched channel 13's Gene Birk fall all over himself virtue signaling to the "protesters". No white privilege for him; he prefers to bow to the god of political correctness while licking the boots of terrorists ANTFA and Black Lives Matter. This is what passes for news now days, socialist indoctrination pictures and videos...

Parameter Estimator

Well, at least they don't scare the state as much as some baptists or the jackboots would have been rolling in to protect them from corona virus.

ElijahThomas

Perhaps you mean the state doesn't love them as much it loves baptists, or it would send in the boots to protect them from corona virus. The Aristocrats say he's Uncle Andy, not Andy Franco.

Econobot

So wonderful to see all those white girls protesting the fact that white men are 25% more likely to die by cop than black men, as identified by black economists who studied thousands and thousands of data points across the United States. So good that they are protesting the fact that black men with felony convictions have a higher probability of finding work than white men without since 2010. Oh, wait, nope, totally not happening. My bad.

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