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Miami protesters take to streets on eight-mile peaceful journey

Protesters began in Downtown Miami before to Overtown.
Protesters began in Downtown Miami before to Overtown. (WPLG)

MIAMI, Fla. – The protesters began in downtown with dozens gathering at the Torch of Friendship in Bayfront Park. They began by splitting up responsibilities to help the whole of the group.

"If you have skills to heal someone stand over there," one of the organizers said.

They marched, not onto any highways although police were strategically placed, but instead through downtown and to Overtown.

There they linked with a smaller, festive group. A Haitian band, the Koncious Kontractors, was founded by a Francois Alexandre who said he was beaten by Miami police officers seven years ago.

"Miami-Dade needs to get rid of immunity when it comes to police officers," Alexandre said.

From the, the now larger group went to Wynwood with more marching and dancing to a Haitian Rara Band. Then onto the spot where Arthur McDuffie was killed by police, which spawned Miami's race riots of 1980.

"Seeing so many races together is a powerful thing," a woman who was marching with the group said. Another woman named Janie said: "Racism is taught. You're not born with it. It's taught."

They then went to Little Haiti, where an SUV driver became upset and he comes too close for comfort to the protesters who surround the vehicle before it speeds off.

A Miami officer on a bicycle who had followed the group since Bayfront urged them to let the police handle anyone who comes at them with hostility.

He told the group: "Don't surround the car, let me put myself in harm's way for you." The group cheered.

The final stop? The statue of Haitian General Toussan Louverture where the nearly eight-mile journey came to an end.


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