KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas, while participating in a protest on May 30 over the death of George Floyd, condemned protesters involved in vandalism.
“What we are not out here to do is to act a fool, is to have generalized hooliganism, is to do something that would, I think, tarnish, not just the life of George Floyd, but also tarnish, I think, what is a wonderful and peaceful rally that we have,” Lucas said.
Although protests the night before remained largely peaceful, some protesters were arrested late at night after police said they broke windows and damaged police cars.
“I don’t want to talk about broken windows,” Lucas said, clearly frustrated. “That doesn’t get anybody anywhere.”
The mayor said vandalism and violence was “something that is totally divorced of why we’re here.”
“We’re here to actually remember, first of all, a man’s life, and we’re here to talk about how we can make change,” Lucas said.
George Floyd was an unarmed, handcuffed black man who died while in Minneapolis police custody. Video shows three officers kneeling on his back. One officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck, despite Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breath.
Floyd died soon after.
All four officers involved in the incident were soon fired. Derek Chauvin was later arrested and charged with murder.
Lucas said the protests should focus on living equally, “to make sure every black mother in this city has the chance to say ‘I know my son’s going to come back, and he’s not going to get shot by somebody in the street, he’s not going to get shot by police.'”
“So I want people to stay peaceful, no matter where you are,” he said.