PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — About 40 protesters were in attendance at Graffiti Bridge Tuesday, when an audio tribute to George Floyd was played over Magic 106.1. It aired on speakers set up so everyone could hear.
The tribute was eight minutes and 46 seconds, meant to symbolize the time a Minnesota police officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck. It was played over CUMULUS MEDIA and Westwood One stations across the country.
According to a press release, the nationwide tribute, entitled “8:46-Remembering George Floyd,” honored Floyd and the many other victims who have perished at the hands of systemic racism.
During the tribute, protesters at Graffiti Bridge kneeled to honor Floyd. Names of those killed in police custody were spoken over the air waves.
Sonshine of Magic 106.1 said kneeling and raising a first for nearly nine minutes was hard, but she was glad to do it.
“Did you see how many people’s arms got tired on one side?” she said. “They had to switch. So can you imagine how that felt for him?”
Diana Muniz-Walls, who has been protesting at Graffiti Bridge for 10 days, said she felt sad and mad during the tribute.
“I’m angry that nothing is being done and it keeps happening,” Muniz-Walls said. “I’m scared for my children that that could be their last eight minutes and 46 seconds.”
After the tribute, protesters blocked traffic on 17th Avenue for about two minutes. Motorists honked their horns.
Blocking traffic is something officials have hoped to avoid.
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said this week after Wednesday, protesters at Graffiti Bridge should look to relocate to avoid blocking traffic.
Protesters told News 5 they aren’t leaving until more is done to stop racism and combat injustices the black community faces.
“We can’t change the world,” said protester Ke’Voughn Manning. “But we can change the city of Pensacola.”
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