ROANOKE, Va. – A protest on May 30 at the Roanoke Police Department served as a catalyst for change in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
More than two weeks after the original protest, demonstrators such as Tatiana Druant are still proclaiming the message “Black Lives Matter” outside of Roanoke’s police headquarters.
“It feels like the only move to make,” said Druant, who is with the group No Justice No Peace Roanoke. “I feel like if I was not out here, I wouldn’t be doing enough.”
Druant and a rotating crowd of about 20 demonstrators set up on Campbell Avenue across from the police department Sunday afternoon.
“Coming out and protesting has reminded me of what I should be doing as an ally," said demonstrator Taliseyn Jax.
Druant said the ongoing protest now has two main goals. The first is to convince Roanoke leaders to consider a budget which spends less on police and more on social services by Monday’s city council meeting.
“They’re the ones in power who can sign a sheet of paper and the documents to make that sort of abolition happen," Druant said.
The second goal is for the Roanoke Police Department to recognize Kionte Spencer, an 18-year-old killed by the Roanoke County Police Department in 2016.
“We make sure they hear Kionte’s name so they know they also have the power to call for justice," Druant said."
Druant believes protesters will continue occupying Campbell Avenue for the foreseeable future, and said she will make it back to protest whenever she is able.
“We’re still going full steam ahead,” Druant said. “Definitely.”