Farmington-area youth gather in ‘Be Their Voice’ protest

About two dozen Farmington area youths walked as part of a Wednesday “Be Their Voice” protest, calling attention to the killing of George Floyd and other black Americans in police-involved shootings.

Carrying placards and chanting, the group met at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion, walked as far as the Governor Warner Mansion, then returned to the pavilion to release black balloons bearing the names of Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Clifford Glover, and others.

Be Their Voice protest
More than two dozen youth gathered Wednesday evening for the “Be Their Voice” protest. (Mark Anthony Design)

Noni Hamilton, 19, said the group organized the event to raise awareness. A number of passing motorists honked in support; only one heckled the group.

“I just want people to hear us and be aware,” the Farmington High alum said. “It’s important that everyone hears about this. I felt comfortable doing it here in Farmington.”

Be Their Voice protest
Young people walked down Grand River Wednesday from the Governor Warner Mansion to downtown Farmington. (Janet Newcomer)

Gizelle Mathuria, 20, said she decided to do something because she was “tired of being emotionally drained and crying all the time.”

Be Their Voice protest
(Janet Newcomer)

Hamilton agreed. “We’ve had nothing but time to sit and think. As a collective, our people are tired.”

Be Their Voice protest
Organizer Noni Hamilton is pictured left with Farmington City Council member Maria Taylor, who called Farmington Public Safety to safely escort the group down Grand River. (Mark Anthony Design)

Sean Williams, also 20, responded to Hamilton’s social media call about the event because he wanted to do something in his own community. “We have to start from home, where it counts the most.”

Be Their Voice protest
A protestor holds up a sign with the names of black Americans who were shot by police, died in police custody, or were lynched. (Mark Anthony Design)

Hamilton said organizers – who also included Trinity Dekiere, 19; Carla Dorcely, 19; and Sydne Mencer, 20 – called the event “Be Their Voice” because “we are the voices of those who have died by a bullet, a noose, or a bullwhip.”

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