CINCINNATI — Traci Strong wants to send a message across Cincinnati of justice for George Floyd, a black man who died as police officers knelt on him in Minneapolis on Monday.
“We don’t need this in our lives," Strong said Friday. "We don’t need this in our hometown. We are trying to just have freedom and live in peace."
Even though Floyd’s death happened 700 miles away, Strong said she immediately wanted to do something when she saw it.
“I was terrified when I looked at it, I was just terrified,” she said. “I could not believe that another officer would treat our own that way.”
First, she organized a vigil, but after seeing the aftermath of protests and riots around the country, she decided to cancel. Instead, she asked people who want to call for accountability to post signs in their yard or windows.
News of Floyd’s death rippled across social media to 18-year-old Klarke Griffith in Cincinnati.
“I just started crying because I saw my brother, I saw my dad, I saw my other brother,” Griffith said.
The teen is organizing a demonstration for June 1 at 1 p.m. Participants plan to kneel outside the Hamilton County Courthouse, mimicking the now-fired officer Derek Chauvin's position in images and recordings of the incident.
“The little things make a big impact,” Griffith said. “We all have to choose to stop this today. Today.”
Strong said people who are afraid to attend a gathering because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can stand on the street holding signs in protest.
“No riots, no throwing, no bottle throwing, anything like that," she said. "You can just put your signs in your yard, on your window. You can stay away from everything and just show your support."