Protesters take to streets of GR for justice

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the third week in a row, protesters took to the streets of Grand Rapids demanding change.

Saturday’s Black Lives Matter rally began at Rosa Parks Circle. As the crowds grew, they took to the streets.

The demonstrators shouted the now-familiar name of the man killed by law enforcement that sparked the latest movement demanding change.

“Say his name. George Floyd. Say his name. George Floyd! Say his name. George Floyd!,” the protesters said while marching through downtown.

The protest was loud and large and attracted a cross-section of the community.

“People are listening. There’s really no choice. You hear us. You see us and we’re not going nowhere,” said Organizer Alicia Bechtold.

The march stayed peaceful, winding through downtown before ending back at Rosa Park Circle.

The demonstrators have been promised reform.

Grand Rapids leaders have put out a list of changes they’ve made in the past and ideas for future reforms.

But protesters say they’ve heard those same promises before.

“Everything we do is a little step closer. With this protest, either way, if it doesn’t work out or it does work out, either way, people are going to see us and hear us and that’s like my biggest goal,” Bechtold said.

So, when will they know they’ve reached their goal? What will real change look like?

Bechtold says the answer is simple.

“When we don’t have to see on the news anymore, black man or black woman live was taken by a police officer or somebody because of their race,” she said.