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'We're Tired Of Getting Killed': The Voices Of Texas Protesters

Protesters demonstrate police brutality in front of Dallas City Hall in downtown Dallas, Saturday, May 30.
LM Otero
/
Associated Press
Protesters demonstrate police brutality in front of Dallas City Hall in downtown Dallas, Saturday, May 30.

This week, thousands of people across Texas protested police killings of black Americans — sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While some violent confrontations broke out between police and demonstrators, the vast majority of Texans participated peacefully. 

Public radio reporters around the state spoke with protesters in several cities about why they chose to attend. 

Hear from protesters in their own words.

Samantha Bouvier attended the Walk for Solidarity in Dallas, organized by the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas and National Latino Law Enforcement Organization.
Credit Alejandra Martinez / KERA News
/
KERA News
Samantha Bouvier attended the Walk for Solidarity in Dallas, organized by the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas and National Latino Law Enforcement Organization.

"My husband is an officer. So he knows that there are good cops out there, but there are a lot of bad ones and if the goods ones don’t stand up to those bad ones it is just as terrible."

Thousands protested at the Capitol and through downtown Austin on Sunday, calling for justice in the killings of black people.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News
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KUT News
Thousands protested at the Capitol and through downtown Austin on Sunday, calling for justice in the killings of black people.

“We’re just trying to promote the power for black people. We stand for our pride. We’re tired of getting killed.” 

Relius Johnson said as a black man, he fears what will happen to him whether in his home or in public.
Credit Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News
/
KERA News
Relius Johnson said as a black man, he fears what will happen to him whether in his home or in public.

“If you don't live this life, you have the privilege and the power to not understand it. And so I do think it's something that's taken for granted for others because they have the luxury to do that. I don't as a black male in today's society. I have a fear that even being in my own home, will I be shot or killed? And then when I go out in public, what are people thinking to me? Sometimes my blackness is seen as a weapon.” 

Fort Worth protesters gather on the courthouse steps while the organizer encourages peaceful protest.
Credit Miranda Suarez / KERA News
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KERA News
Fort Worth protesters gather on the courthouse steps while the organizer encourages peaceful protest.

“We're tired of having conversations. We're just tired of continuously having to tell the authorities, white people, whatever it is that we just don't want to be killed anymore. Like, it shouldn't be a crime to be black.” 

Dominique Alexander, president and founder of NextGenAction, said African-Americans are treated like third-class citizens.
Credit Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News
/
KERA News
Dominique Alexander, president and founder of NextGenAction, said African-Americans are treated like third-class citizens.

“We are out here because enough is enough...what they reminded us is that African-Americans are third-class citizens.”

Latoya Lane attended A Walk For Solidarity in Dallas June, 5.
Credit Alejandra Martinez / KERA News
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KERA News
Latoya Lane attended A Walk For Solidarity in Dallas June, 5.

"I tell my son you look like the typical suspect. Even though you aren’t, you look that way so you have to behave in a certain way. But you do have freedom of speech and just know that I will be there to help you."

Listen to the protesters in their own words.

Reza Askari holds a sign that says "Demilitarize the Police."
Credit Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News
/
KERA News
Reza Askari holds a sign that says "Demilitarize the Police."

“I see some police saying 'stay safe.' But I see some police intimidating...it’s wrong. We're all peaceful out here." 

Moe Williams said although some people are calling protesters thugs, she's acting peacefully.
Credit Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News
/
KERA News
Moe Williams said although some people are calling protesters thugs, she's acting peacefully.

'We're Tired Of Getting Killed': The Voices Of Texas Protesters

“I don't believe we are being thugs at all. Thugs are dangerous people; thugs are criminals...There are others that come out here for other reasons. But that is not what us, as a group, and me personally, that's not what we're doing."

Michael Adeiri said he is going to protest for as long as he can.
Credit Hady Mawajdeh / KERA News
/
KERA News
Michael Adeiri said he is going to protest for as long as he can.

“...We're all as people going to do what we can do in our power. And I am going to be here as long as I can be.”

Copyright 2020 KERA

Rachel Osier Lindley is the Statewide Coordinating Editor for the Texas Station Collaborative.
Hady Mawajdeh is an Arts Reporter and Digital Editor for KERA’s Art & Seek. Hady came to KERA from Austin where worked on “The national daily news show of Texas,” Texas Standard. At the Standard, Hady crafted stories and segments about the topics and headlines that mattered most to Texans.
Alejandra Martinez is a reporter for KERA and The Texas Newsroom through Report for America (RFA). She's covering the impact of COVID-19 and its associated economic fallout on marginalized communities.