UC students peacefully protest, 2 top UC police officials kneel in show of solidarity

UC students protest following the death of George Floyd

CLIFTON (FOX19) - University of Cincinnati students marched through the streets around the campus Wednesday and peacefully protested police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

The protest drew about 350 people and started in a parking lot on the corner of Clifton Avenue and Probasco Street.

Demonstrators chanted and cheered as they walked two miles. They called for change and were supported by drivers honking.

Speakers took turns with megaphones, seeking justice for black lives.

Organizers said seeing the large turnout - a much larger one than they expected - reminded them that hope is not lost.

“We understand that this is not a black or white fight. This is a fight for humanity, said Miriam Wane.

"Black people in America are sick and tired and we need the help of everyone. We need white allies. We need every single person to stand up. No one is excused right now.”

The group also said they want curfew violation and other charges dropped against protesters who were arrested last weekend in downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine and other parts of the city.

Those charges were filed by Cincinnati police, not UC police.

There were no arrests at Wednesday’s event, which UC police turned into an opportunity to connect with the students they protect and serve and improve police community relations.

UC Assistant Police Chief Dudley Smith and Captain Rodney Carter marched the whole way with protesters, listening to them and speaking with them.

Then, the two police veterans joined a growing number of law enforcement officers nationally and in the Tri-State by kneeling with the protesters in a show of solidarity.

“We approached this from the perspective that these are our students, they have a legitimate voice and we support them in their message,” said UC Director of Public Safety and Police Chief James Whalen.

Another student protest is expected to be held this weekend.

A date and time has yet to be announced.

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