Protests are sweeping across the nation as Americans voice their frustrations over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody. The outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has led to demonstrations in many cities across America. Some of the protests have turned violent and destructive. There is now a demonstration in the downtown area of Goldsboro and at the Wayne County Courthouse. City of Goldsboro officials are urging any crowds that do gather to remain peaceful and avoid any destruction of public or private property.
At 8:55 PM the Goldsboro Police SWAT Team van arrived on the scene. At the height of the protest the crowd grew to 200-300 people. Chants of “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” “Black LIves Matter” and “No Justice No Peace” were heard for over an hour.
On Facebook, Goldsboro Police Chief Mike West shared the following statement regarding the tragic death of George Floyd:
“I want to start by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with George Floyd’s family during this difficult time. Twenty-eight years ago, I took an oath to protect and serve every citizen of Goldsboro, and everyday I do my best to uphold that oath. To see an officer demonstrate a complete lack of respect and disregard for a human life, is both sickening and disturbing. The past few days, I have talked to some of our officers and believe me when I tell you, they are disheartened and concerned. They are disheartened because their chosen profession has once again been tarnished because a police officer did not honor the oath to serve and protect. They are concerned because the trust that they work everyday to build within their community has been compromised. The one thing that a good cop can’t stand, is a bad cop. Over the next few days and even week, as we hear more about future protests, it is my hope that as a community, we can safely and peacefully communicate our concerns and we can continue to build and strengthen the community and police relationship. To the officers of the Goldsboro Police Department, I am very proud of the way you continue to serve our citizens with compassion, integrity, and professionalism.”
Ahead of the planned demonstrations in Downtown Goldsboro this evening, Cry Freedom Missions released the following statement:
“At Cry Freedom Missions, we believe in standing up and speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves and work to fight injustices every day. We grieve for George Floyd and his family and long for justice to be had. We understand the gravitas of events unfolding around our country and even in our own community. We respect any and all demonstrations, and do ask the same respect be given to our retail location in Historic Downtown Goldsboro. We are grateful for the communities continued support as we work to Reach, Rescue, Restore and speak out for the marginalized and overlooked.”