People of all ages and colors marched in Katy Park on the evening of June 4.
The Katy for Black Lives Matter Protest, organized by three Katy ISD rising seniors, attracted about 2,000 people, local law enforcement said.
At the demonstration, the local community came together: volunteers handed out water, sign language interpreters danced to music during breaks, a health professional provided face masks, and the crowd cheered on their friends and family who addressed the attendees.
“While we're here demanding justice for George Floyd, it's not enough,” said an upcoming senior from Taylor High School, one of several student speakers. “This is just the beginning of a fight we can't give up on anytime soon. We need change and reform. Our criminal justice system needs fundamental renovation.”
Floyd grew up in Houston’s Third Ward and was killed while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. The protest was one of many that have been held throughout the country since Floyd's death.
“Growing up as a person of color in Katy has been a unique experience,” a 16-year-old Katy ISD student from Tompkins High School told the crowd after the march. “Whereas, right before my eyes I’ve noticed Katy become more diverse ... and although we have come so far in justifying our place in things, and striving against the inequity every day, it’s times like this that remind me of how much further we still have to go.”
Erika Alvarez of Cinco Ranch High School as well as Foyin Dosunmu and Jeffrey Jin, both of Seven Lakes High School, coordinated the event to show their support and empathy for the Black Lives Matter social movement, which works to end violence and injustice as well as provide healing and freedom to black people, according to its website.
“Right now in this time, in this awakening, seeing all these young people awake ... that gives me hope that all the work that has been done, all the struggles in the civil rights movement won’t be in vain,” Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton said at the event. “Because we still have work to do.”
One of the many demonstrators was Kamal Osman, who owns Houston55 Barber Studio in Katy. He said he also attended the June 2 downtown Houston march.
“I’m here to play my part,” he said. “I’m glad to see so many people are here.”
Amani Al Talib came with three of her four children. She said she is worried for her 21-year-old son going to college in California. The coronavirus pandemic has amplified tensions, and the masks worn to prevent the coronavirus from spreading make it easier to judge people by only skin color and size, she said.
"They just see his skin color and his height ... and he can fit any profile," Al Talib said. "I fear for my children. I fear for my brother. Until all black lives matter, not all lives matter."