CINCINNATI — Thousands of people are gathering together Downtown in what is expected to be the largest protest in the Greater Cincinnati area since the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
Fountain Square was so packed Sunday afternoon that the crowd spilled into the surrounding streets. The protest marked the 10th consecutive day people in the Cincinnati area gathered in unity and solidarity over the death of Floyd.
Police closed Vine Street at about 3:30 p.m. as protesters marched on the street.
Jeremy Jackson, of Taylor Mill, said the sheer size of the crowd made him emotional.
“(I got) teary eyed to see everyone coming together. It’s a beautiful moment,” he said.
“I got emotional. Teary eyed to see everyone coming together. It’s a beautiful moment," Jeremy Jackson, of Taylor Mill, wore a mask with the words, "I can't breath". He rode a one-wheel carrying his message for others to see.— Jake Ryle (@JakeWCPO) June 7, 2020
The message protesters shared downtown-- @WCPO at 6. pic.twitter.com/0KsML6mtXM
Among the crowd was 82-year-old Tom Conlan Jr. He said he considered not attending, but the movement empowered him to participate.
“I still have a little spring and energy left. Might as well put my oar in the water going the right way,” he said.
Conlan, a member of NAACP, marched during the Civil Rights movement. Conlan said he was impressed by the number of white people who attended the protest.
“I think if there’s any real profound observation to make it’s the re-involvement, or involvement, of Caucasians,” he said.
Cincinnati City Council Member Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney said the Chinese, Hispanic and African American Chambers donated 2,000 face masks for protesters. Cincinnati Police officers distributed the masks at the event.
Jackson said attending the protest helped him realize that people need to stand in unity to propel the movement forward.
“Simply, black lives do matter. I think at this time people need to come together. Not be divided. That’s why we’re here,” he said.