Vernon Hills protester: 'We must be the start of the cure'

  • Hundreds of protesters in Vernon Hills Thursday knelt in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a white Minneapolis Police officer kept his knee on George Floyd's neck last Monday.

      Hundreds of protesters in Vernon Hills Thursday knelt in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a white Minneapolis Police officer kept his knee on George Floyd's neck last Monday. Doug T. Graham | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/5/2020 5:11 PM

Hundreds of people congregated at Century Park in Vernon Hills Thursday afternoon to protest racism and decry the death of George Floyd last week in police custody.

The event started with everyone kneeling for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a white Minneapolis police officer kept his knee on Floyd's neck last Monday while pinning the 46-year-old black man down in the street. The officer was charged with second-degree murder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Addressing racism, several people in Vernon Hills took turns wielding a bullhorn and giving testimonials to the crowd.

Kayleen Shapiro, 19, who graduated from Vernon Hills High School last year, said she and other black people shouldn't have to live with so much fear.

"I feel I can't go driving after dark anymore because I wonder about not coming back," Shapiro said.

Lee Judilla, 19, who also graduated Vernon Hills High last year, urged those in the crowd to hold the people they know accountable.

"Racism has been killing people for generations," Judilla said. "We must be the start of the cure."

Judilla, who was one of the organizers, said he was thrilled by the turnout and attributed it to great word-of-mouth.

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