'This is history': Hundreds march in Plano to make their voices heard

Protesters marched along Parker Road toward Dallas Parkway at a peaceful protest June 2. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Protesters marched along Parker Road toward Dallas Parkway at a peaceful protest June 2. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Protesters marched along Parker Road toward Dallas Parkway at a peaceful protest June 2. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Protesters marched along Parker Road toward Dallas Parkway at a peaceful protest June 2. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Police assisted in blocking traffic for protesters. A number of marchers turned to say thank you as they passed the officers. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Grace Church Plano staff and volunteers, including Executive Pastor Jessie Prince, offered water and snacks to those passing by. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Traffic was moved to one side of the road while marchers made their way down Parker Road. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Plano Police Department Chief Ed Drain offered a ride in the back of a city truck to two protesters. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Plano Police officer Omar Landrum speaks to a small group of protesters, encouraging their decision to march peacefully. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Plano Police Chief Ed Drain warned protesters of the danger of marching in heavily trafficked areas. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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A man who identified himself only as Sean speaks to the crowd at the intersection of Dallas Parkway and Parker Road, celebrating the closure of one of Plano's busier intersections. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Some of the protesters sat in front of stopped traffic on Parker Road and Dallas Parkway, encouraging drivers to honk their horns. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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A protester who was led out of the turnaround lane at the intersection of Dallas Parkway and Parker Road speaks with Police Chief Ed Drain. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The march ended with a second kneel by protesters at the intersection of Parker and Preston roads. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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A man who identified himself only as Sean spoke to the crowd a second time before encouraging the crowd to listen to a few words from Police Chief Ed Drain. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The group knelt and raised their fists in protest of police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The crowd gathered around Police Chief Ed Drain at the end of the march. He encouraged people to stay and ask questions. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hundreds of peaceful protesters marched along Parker Road in Plano on Tuesday afternoon to speak out against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis last week.

The group, largely made up of teens and young adults, walked more than two miles before pausing at the busy intersection of Dallas Parkway and Parker Road.

"The only way we are going to provoke change is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable," a man who identified himself only as Sean told the crowd around him. "This is history right here."

Sean, who was not affiliated with the event's organizers, addressed the crowd during moments of pause.

The protest was one of many that have been held throughout the country since Floyd's death on May 25. But unlike Dallas and Fort Worth, where officials instituted curfews after daily protests led to property damage and violence, the crowd in Plano marched peacefully.


Plano Police vehicles blocked major intersections and helped direct traffic to keep the crowd safe during the hours-long march.

"You all are doing it the right way," Plano police officer Omar Landrum told some of the protesters waiting at an intersection.

As the mass neared the Dallas North Tollway, Plano Police Chief Ed Drain warned against the dangers of crossing more heavily trafficked areas.

"We want you to march," Drain said. "We don't want you to get run over by a car."

Officers did intervene briefly when some protesters stood in the turnaround lane underneath the tollway. A small group of protesters who sat in front of stopped traffic on Dallas Parkway were also asked to move along after the majority of the group headed back toward Preston Road.

Richardson resident Madison Williams said she came to the Plano rally to show her support.

"We're trying to go to all the protests that we can to make sure our voice is heard because it isn't being heard yet," Williams said.

At one point, the police chief addressed the crowd.

"There is no one more pissed off about what happened than we are," Drain said. "That put a stain on law enforcement... In Plano, it's not like Minneapolis."

Drain invited the crowd to stay and ask questions. He is also expected to make a recorded statement on the issue later, according to police spokesperson David Tilley.

Some passing drivers honked in tandem with the group's chants. Members of Grace Church Plano, which is located at Preston and Parker roads where the marchers initially gathered, offered water and snacks.

"We heard about it, that it was going to be on our corner," Executive Pastor Jessie Prince said. "We wanted to do our part to help build bridges and maintain peace and civility and stand next to our community and support them in any way we can."

In a June 2 video message, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said the city’s leadership was listening to the calls for action.

“We acknowledge the pain that racism brings about as it opens the wounds we have sought to heal over many years,” LaRosiliere said. “And we hear the valid request for transparency, fairness and policy, all that defines the culture of an organization.”

Racism has “no place in our city,” he said.

Daniel Houston contributed to this report.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano, including education and transportation.


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