Community members gather to honor George Floyd, protest police brutality

Hundreds lined 52nd Avenue West in the Meadowdale area Wednesday night, holding signs and soliciting honks from passing cars to honor the life of George Floyd while protesting against police brutality.

Chants and car horns filled the air as community members gathered near St. Timothy Lutheran Church, located in the 5100 block of 164th Street Southwest, to hold a candlelight vigil for Floyd — a Black man who died last month when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes — and others who have died at the hands of law enforcement.

Floyd’s death sparked outrage across the U.S. and worldwide, leading to protests and civil unrest in many cities, including Seattle, Bellevue and other parts of King County. Some demonstrations have led to looting and violence, causing nearby cities to take precautions.

Earlier this week in Lynnwood, Alderwood Mall closed for two days and Lynnwood Mayor Nicola Smith declared a civil emergency and put a curfew in place overnight.

Crowds lined both sides of 52nd Avenue West between 164th Avenue West and 148th Avenue West, rotating among chants of “Black lives matter,” “No justice, no peace,” and saying names of Black men and women who have died during encounters with police.

Law enforcement was on standby, including the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, and only interfered when a group of demonstrators stood in the median strip chanting. After protester’s refused to leave the median, a deputy parked his patrol vehicle near the 52nd Avenue West and 164th Avenue West to alert oncoming traffic of the crowds ahead.

“The amount of people on this street is inspired, for Edmonds,” said Jacque Julien, Executive Director of Communities of Color Coalition.

However, Julien added that large crowds are only one part of enacting change, and there is still more work to do behind the scenes.

“We need folks to show up to vote, we need folks in board rooms, we need folks disrupting policies,” she said. “That’s where the real work occurs.”

The event was sponsored by the Beverly Elementary School PTA, which encouraged community members to wear masks and practice social distancing. Chalk on the sidewalk also marked recommended distances for demonstrators.

Organizer Shawn Green said he and other families decided to hold the event after teaching their kids about the Civil Rights Movement and other modern instances of racial injustice.

“We looked at how communities sometimes came together in the ’50s and ’60s and stood in solidarity against injustice,” he said. “We see injustice everyday around us and want to stand with our neighbors.”

–Story and photos by Cody Sexton

26 Replies to “Community members gather to honor George Floyd, protest police brutality”

  1. What we’re witnessing in this time is I’d guess, the world’s largest toddler temper tantrum.

    Fueled by technology, brought to us by history’s most self-entitled, arrogant, hyper-sensitive, and emotional generation enabled by “adults” of similar emotional capacity.

    We’re seeing all 5 tantrum stages on display in various places.. Whining. Defiance. Going Ballistic. Denial. Acceptance & Pouting. For the adults in the room, and as the HuffPost says.. ‘Don’t let down your guard, toddlers are little evil geniuses”. Boy, we’re seeing that every day. To refresh and provide contrast for the adults..

    Stage 1. WHINING.. They always start slow when throwing a fit. Usually some soft whining that eventually becomes cry-whining and maybe straight tears. It’s excruciating, and often lasts a long time. Most parents quickly become immune to it. Since it’s ineffective, it necessitates escalation.
    Stage 2. DEFIANCE.. Now it starts to get real. The child asserts them-self. They don’t care what you say, there not having it! They’re doing what they want, and are getting what they want, or else! This is a fun one to ignore as long as you’re not in public and can keep yourself from swearing at the little punk.
    Stage 3. GOING BALLISTIC.. You have reached actual tantrum status. With actual flailing. And the screaming! It’s bizarre to witness and, if you’re not in the middle of a Target, I suggest grabbing yourself a drink. With the right perspective, your child throwing a fit is entertaining. AND it tires them out! Plus, if you give in now, they own you.
    Stage 4. DENIAL.. Speaking of bizarre, they often lie silently down on the floor, face-first, as if to will the incident away. Or maybe they’re licking the floor. Who knows! Whatever it is they’re doing, it doesn’t work because at this point I’ve stopped caring and am usually doing whatever I can to keep from laughing.
    Stage 5. ACCEPTANCE & POUTING.. Now they have a choice: give up, start over, or go out with some dignity. They knows once you get past Stage 3, you’ve already won, so their emotions finally shrivel into chastened, bitter defeat. Pouting is a last gasp at maintaining the self-respect that, unfortunately, left the building during Stage 4.

    The protesters certainly have the constitutional right to protest as long as they’re not violent and respectful of others liberty. But like most of the logically challenged, virtue-signaling activists here, they speak solely to their bubble, logical ignorance on display, changing few minds. And likewise, with many others, I’ll continue to exercise my right to give them the attention their tantrum deserves (none), will pay attention to true solutions, and will continue living life unencumbered by their logical challenges and emotional baggage.


    1. I would argue that this diatribe is quite literally the definition of a tantrum.
      An uprising is afoot. An uprising that is right and just and good. Eyes are being opened. It’s wonderful to watch.
      It’s also telling who is pushing back the hardest. Those whose power is being threatened.
      Keep telling us to stop. We’re pushing forward with or without you.


      1. “An uprising is afoot. An uprising that is right and just and good. Eyes are being opened. It’s wonderful to watch.”

        What part has been the most “wonderful to watch” for you? The “right and just and good” mass looting or…?


      2. How much is really changing, my guess is that 90%+ that are at protests are people that have gone to other protests in the past 2 years, the claim “we are going to vote on this issue” is said about every other issue as well. In the end if you were going to vote for a democrat two months ago you are almost assuredly going to vote for a democrat in November. Democrats hold the power at the head of state, AG, in both branches of state government, in most mayor slots in western Washington. When was the last time that Seattle had a non-dem mayor or the state had a non-dem Governor or Senator? Are people going to vote for change by voting republican… yeah right, they are going to vote for the latest batch of dem candidates that “feel our pain” again.


        1. Anthony, I attended a protest last week in Shoreline. That was the first protest I’ve been to since the late 60’s. I really doubt that 90% of the 5,000 or so people there were making a habit out of protesting as a lot of them looked just like me. I encourage you to get out there, make yourself a little uncomfortable. You might learn something.


      3. Everyone, pause and think of the other black men who lost their lives to violence this week. Where is the outrage for them? None of the violence is justified. Mr. Floyd should never have been killed, everyone agrees. Stop the violence; it dishonors Mr. Floyd’s memory and those who lost their lives in this insanity.


        1. This has been a consistent criticism of the BLM movement. It doesn’t address the black on black killings with nationwide protests, if it is a movement to lessen black deaths they should. They don’t send out the marchers when a black cop kills an unarmed black man, if it is a movement to protest police brutality they should. For people that feel BLM really means “only black males killed by white cops matter” cancel culture is used to shut them down, this plays well to the choir but also increases push back.


    2. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. ” -Maya Angelou

      You posted this recently. Reflect and take a trip?


        1. Black on black murders are their responsibility….the brutality of the police, and disparaging disrespect in general, for 100’s of years- is ON US.


    3. I’m saddened to see people in our community that want to tell others how/when/why they should protest injustices in our society.

      If you think everything is great and change doesn’t need to happen to the point that you likely spent 20 minutes typing out a post, next time I would encourage you to spend that precious time soul searching why YOU feel this way. Are these systemic injustices benefiting your own life?


  2. I was happy to see folks up here in the burbs in large numbers show up and stand in solidarity for our Black brothers & Sisters. Racism is Americas plague, and this was an opportunity to model how to protest for our kids, with messages of unity, hope, and encouragement. We dont have to stay this way
    we can change this. Never underestimate the value of a planted seed.


  3. Who said no-one has the right to protest? Speak up. I’ll certainly listen, then judge based on the merit. This one doesn’t hold water for the reasons hinted above and spelled out specifically below. I’ve got no power to loose, just BS to call. I spent part of my youth as a minority being judged by some on my race. But I married outside of my race, am well traveled, and have friends of all races with the one thing in common; there’s no race BS between us. We joke, but actions judged on behavior. If any of you have traveled outside of your echo chambers you’ll find it CRYSTAL clear that we’re all the same in what’s important.. A smile’s a smile, a frown’s a frown and a tear’s a tear.. EXACTLY the same. How do you people not see that much of America’s race problems are firmly rooted in ignorantly allowing the elevation of specific race and tribe over the colorblind justice many folks already practice and desire. BLM is a member of this club. Race is irrelevant, ALL lives matter, the only way forward is judging right and wrong (legal and illegal) under all circumstances solely on behavior. Apply due process (with assumption of innocence) and prosecute logically to the extent it deserves, but don’t kowtow to race hustlers (like BLM etc) disingenuously flaming the simmering fires of the emotionally fragile. I think most people in Edmonds know and practice this already.

    Cops literally are the thin blue line, protecting the vulnerable and the violently unappreciative alike, while striving to uphold a noble oath and code. When we’re young and sketchy, like nearly all of the looters, no one likes the cops. The spotlight here is rightly on a rogue cop, but let’s not paint them all with a broad brush, and recognize and call out any underlying culture that celebrates violence and lawlessness. This would be looting and anarchy in any form. It’s simply inexcusable. Some observations on the current situation…

    a. The Golden Rule is probably the single most important rule in guidance between people. Many of you either never knew it or have forgotten it.
    b. Following sketchy pompous violent pubescents (often thugs) with little experience or wisdom is an arrogant road to disaster. The older wise black folks are ignored, often the victims here.
    c. Ignorantly or naïvely not calling out the violent elements of the black community; who as a group are overwhelmingly the biggest PERPETRATORS of murders and violence, NOT the victims. If Black Lives Mattered, wouldn’t they be fixing their own internal problems in Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans, St Louis etc..? And now who do we see engaging in the killing, looting and burning in these riots?
    d. What’s really racist? Picking a the current hyped frame (white cop on black man) which is a rarity, AND ignoring the thousands of other race victims because they don’t fit the preferred frame and no one is looting for them.. Crime and victims are colorblind, the rest is hypocrisy.
    e. Spineless mayors/councils who flame the fires and won’t own it when the emotional midgets and agent provocateurs are emboldened. They can’t or won’t protect their people, looking to pin the blame everywhere except where it belongs.. With Them.. Then imagine that, our mayor’s pining for a looters alliance.
    f. The logical and moral contortions engaged to justify and defend the undefendable is amazing.
    g. Keep lessons from the past, but obsess about the future and everyone’s potential instead.
    h. If systemic discrimination was a major problem, how do millions of Black Americans, Black Africans, Asians, Hispanics, American Indians and Pacific Islanders have any success? Because they focus on families, raise good kids, have a vision, work hard, and don’t let setbacks stop them. In other words, they have gumption and grit, not blame and victim-hood.
    i. Vastly unlike 60 years ago, no one in this country is blocked from success based on race; the examples are obvious and numerous. So why do we see only one race repeating the old riot cycle in the same manner as from the 60’s, 70’s 80’s 90’s etc… That we’re not seeing different results doesn’t extrapolate well for the future, and lays the blame on race-hustlers who will always focus on the past not the future.

    Finally.. Money, not race, is privilege. All lives matter EQUALLY. For those who still don’t get it, our only path forward is colorblind judgment based on behavior over race. As long as selective justice for a preferred race and tribe exist, NOT equal justice for all, this kind of problem will go on forever. Liberal predecessors who fought for racial equality are aghast and ashamed, rolling over in their graves.


  4. Golden Rule is good and Money does seem to play a large role in privilege. Some of the folks we have elected would like to use the Golden Rule as just one reason to re-distribute money and wealth. Some elected folks are working on various forms of subsidy and redistribution models that in their opinion well go a long ways to solving some of our imbalance or equity issues.


    1. The beauty of America is the freedom to live your own life in your way of choosing, the American dream or any other self-defined dream. As we all have equality in front of the law, we can each choose our path with varying results based on individual variance.. education, work ethic, vision, temperament etc.. As I choose to run my business at a slower pace, I have more free time but I don’t expect to make the money that a guy who focuses strongly on building his business revenue will make. That seems fair to me and I value that choice. In other words, if legal, no American dream or goal are restricted. Equal at the starting line, not the finish line. .

      Imbalance or equity issues are simple. If you want more money, get a good plan and work hard. And to me, “redistribution” is just another way of saying stealing the things from me that I’ve earned. To frame it in the golden rule parlance.. I wouldn’t take money or property from others and don’t think anyone should take it from me. Just because the government can do it legally, doesn’t make it right or just.


  5. Again good ideas but my point was those we have elected while they may dream of some of these lofty ideals they are moving toward concepts of added subsidy and redistribution. CV19 will only accelerate “their dream” and they will craft “messages” to make it “right” and “just”. The words are already being used as talking points.


  6. As we look for change or solutions or other answers one way would be look at our school system. 7m folks, 1m in school. The whole notion of education is built on striving for some sort of equity. We are trying to create more equity in food, computers, internet access, clothing and other issues. The school system has it own “justice” system in how it handles discipline. Teachers often decide the start of an action and serve as police to get things started in that “justice” system with other adults along the way during the whole process. I wonder what if we have any data on how well the “police” (teachers) are working in that situation. Does the data show any racial differences in these processes? Maybe we can learn from the schools on how better to create an equitable system of justice?


  7. The big problem with looking at racial justice is that many want to use the rule of “there are x % of a population in this group, if any more than that percentage are shown in a negative way then it is only proof of racism and not the actions of that group.” Look at the current protests, systemic racism is proven because even though more whites are killed by cops than blacks if you only adjust for the percentage of blacks and whites in the total population blacks are being killed at a greater rate. This completely ignores that black males have a much higher rate of interaction with the police than any other data group. If you look at deaths per interaction then they are killed less than whites. The reason for the increased interactions…. it is not allowed to be because black males commit more crime, it can only be because cops focus on them more and thus systemic racism is proven again.


    1. Anthony:

      “Racial justice” encompasses far more than the toting up of police encounters and the tabulating of resulting fatalities.

      While the issue of policing in relation to the African American community is undeniably in a wretched state of affairs in some parts of this country, that is not the same issue as “systemic racism” (more accurately termed “race-based institutional bias”). The former (police misconduct/brutality toward visible minorities) has a lot to do with excessive-use-of-force issues, poor conflict resolution training, inadequate use of de-escalation strategies, and poor leadership/communication, whereas the latter involves pre-determined, deeply-rooted structural attitudes toward visible minorities in areas that include employment, education, training and housing.

      The actions of that officer – and that of too many other officers – toward African Americans in this country is deplorable, but the issue of race-based institutional bias in this country is a separate one – to be sure the two issues share some commonality (e.g. they both carry pre-set bias as antecedents), but we miss the mark somewhat if we try to explain one by only looking to the other. Police brutality is what killed George Floyd, not just racism.


  8. This is amazing and I’d love to know if there will be another planned. I would have come had I known!


  9. Paul I did not say it was the only measure just that its a big problem we need to consider if people are going to discuss racial justice in a meaningful way. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors and others have used the percentage argument in a number of ways as proof of systemic racism while many people don’t agree. If common ground can’t be found on this point can a solution to racism ever happen?


  10. I would like to suggest we do something to amplify our support for community members of color.

    It’s a simple idea:

    On Monday June 8th, the day of George Floyd’s funeral in Houston, please consider doing one or both of the following things, to show support for racial equality and loving our neighbors:

    1. At your home or business, post a positive sign in your yard or window, (or sidewalk chalk, or painted rocks): showing support for racial justice, or simply love and concern for our community and equal treatment of all citizens. Some ideas:
    ( Love your neighbor!, Love All Your Neighbors, We Hear You!, Equal Justice, Black Lives Matter, Justice for George Floyd, , …or whatever you feel strongly about, please keep it positive!)

    2. Go outside for a walk with friends or family and look for the signs. If you can walk at 7:00 pm, look for neighbors out walking, and talk to them. If not, walk and look for the signs whenever you can.

    Let’s be a community and talk about the important things, and show our support for each other.


  11. As someone who has been around for sixty plus years, the older I get the less I know. Because I want to learn I put myself into an uncomfortable position a couple weeks ago when I attended the big rally and march in Shoreline. Listing to the speakers I was moved to tears. I been sheltered and fortunate and blind to the injustice around me. These are my fellow citizens. Injustice to one is an injustice to all. As an American I must do more to help make positive change or I risk losing everything that matters to me. Paul Sherman is just scared. I challenge you to put your pen down, open your mind and your heart. Instead of having all the answers, ask some questions. You might learn something.


  12. Who is Paul Sherman? We who have a different set of facts and history get to do what we want to do. I hope you do not “lose everything that matters to you”. None of us want to lose things that matter to us. Perhaps you would do well to understand that opening ones heart and mind does not mean the result would be to think like you. Mr Sherman probably does not have all the answers, but I would bet money that the older he gets, the more he knows.


    1. James.

      You are of course entitled to your own opinion, but you aren’t entitled to your own “set of facts”.

      Too many people running around with their own “set of facts” – and that’s the funny thing about facts – there’s actually only one set of facts …

      We’re all neighbours, we all live in the same wonderful community, and we all operate under the same set of facts. So why not we just have an open conversation about those facts? Just saying. I’m listening, you have my attention, so give me your ideas. I’m happy to hear them, and I’m sure that many others would like to hear them too.


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