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Protesters against police brutality march peacefully through East Lansing

City manager, police chief issue strong condemnation of Floyd's killing

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TUESDAY, June 2 — More than 100 people marched peacefully through East Lansing today to protest the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Chanting "black lives matter," they marched from City Hall through downtown then returned to City Hall.

The police were visible in SUVs but not overbearing. There was no violence or apparent tension before the protest broke up around 4 p.m.

Lansing resident Maya Crawford said she was there "because not enough people are out here."

"There are people that can't be here because they have to work or are afraid of retaliation I am here for those people," Crawford said.

Said Farhan Sheihk-Omar of Lansing: "I'm here because I'm tired of waiting for elected officials to make things happen We need to start being proactive, not reactive. What happened to George Floyd almost happened here in East Lansing with two innocent black men."

His last remark referred to an incident in which a white police officer was accused of using excessive force against two black men. The officer was cleared.

After the march, City Manager George Lahanas expressed solidarity with those engaged in "peaceful protests, saying, "People are angry and frustrated and need to be heard."

"We need to be particularly mindful of the legitimate concerns that have been raised regarding the treatment of people of color in our community," he continued. "We are already in the process and have been actively seeking to involve all members of our community, specifically people of color, in our mission to continue to improve law enforcement in East Lansing."

In a statement issued at the same time, the city's acting chief of police  condemned Floyd's death as a "brutal and senseless murder."

"Mr. Floyd's legacy will lead to lasting, positive change of the law enforcement profession and how we interact wth our community," the chief, Steve Gonzalez, said. "I assure you: we are listening. We urge people to remain non-violent during these protests and treateach other with dignity and respect."

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