A group of more than 125 people peacefully marched in Rancho Mirage to protest police violence and honor the memory of George Floyd, it was reported Thursday morning.
The group marched from Rancho Mirage Community Park in the 71000 block of San Jacinto Drive to Highway 111 about 7 p.m. Wednesday, mostly staying on the sidewalks, then returning to the park, The Desert Sun reported.
Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and a department helicopter watched over the march, which was organized by Nicole Smith, who organized a similar march in La Quinta on Tuesday, and expressed gratitude for law enforcement’s presence.
“They are extending their hands to help us,” Smith told KESQ. “If we feel we are going to go down and have a heat stroke or anything like that, they have made it very clear that they are there to help. They have water in their cars. To have them on our side, that means the most because that’s the whole thing — we want the nation as well as the rest of the state to unite the way that they are uniting with us.”
As a precaution, deputies briefly stopped traffic going northwest on Highway 111, but most in the crowd did not step into the street, according to the Desert Sun.
Floyd, who was unarmed and unresisting, was killed May 25 when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and on the ground. He had allegedly passed a counterfeit $20 bill.
The officer directly involved in his death is facing a second-degree murder charge. Three other officers at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Floyd’s death triggered more than a week of unrest across the nation.
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