PEORIA (WEEK) - Local youth activists organized a march that started at the Peoria Riverfront, and made it's way to the Peoria County Courthouse.
The march was in response to the murder of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was killed after Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd's neck for approximately 8 minutes, resulting in his death.
Hundreds of people, of all ages and backgrounds, marched Saturday in a call to action, addressing police brutality. The march was non-violent, but demanded change to police protocol.
The organizers, some of Peoria's younger generation, say although the incident did not happen on Peoria soil, they still want to show solidarity. One organizer, Sincere Williams says even though it was not close to home
"We're black, and we feel it too."
Organizers also wanted to honor all people of color who have been impacted by police brutality.
"Also to spread love because recently, with all the controversy on social media, there's been talk about black on black crime and issues in the black community, so we wanted to show that we can come together despite all of that," said Williams.
He added, when they chant 'Black Lives Matter' they are not saying other lives do not, but expressing many people do not faced oppression like black men and women do.
"That's like saying two houses are burning and a third house says 'why aren't you putting my house out?' well your house isn't burning. It's taking away from the topic that really matters and that's black lives matter because that's what's happening, That's the controversy in America. Black lives are being taken," said Williams.
Others who participated in the march say they want to show that change comes from action, not just talking.
"Basically to be a part of it. No need to sit home and wait for everything to blow over because at the end of the day, I could be next," said a marcher.
The citizen added he wants to feel comfortable walking out of his own frontdoor.
"Everyday when I walk out of my house… I have an overwhelming thought that it could be my last," said the marcher.