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"Justice Walk" Brings 1,000 Together in Unity

One week ago on June 7, downtown Boone became the site for one of largest peaceful protests in the history of the town. About 1,000 participated in a “Justice Walk” from the Belk Library circle to the Watauga County Courthouse to peacefully protest racial injustice and police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others.

UNC Charlotte student and Boone resident Raheim Andrews organized the march which included speakers Pastor Reggie Hunt, Police Chief Andy Le Beau, and civil rights activist Toussaint Romain.

A few quotes from speakers at “Justice Walk”

We have to have more conversations within our reach and make incremental change before we can make major systematic and systemic change. Seeing people come out here is an amazing thing. In my 25 years of being in Boone, this is one of the more special moments for me.

-- Pastor Reggie Hunt of Cornerstone Summit Church in Boone“

I have a dream that one day the sons of former slaves and police officers will be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood and enjoy each other.

--Toussaint Romain, deputy general counsel at Appalachian State and a civil rights activist

(Andrews) wanted myself and Chief Stephenson to walk with him, as he said, ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ up to the courthouse. He set the stage of let's move forward together and do this work.

--Boone Police Chief Andy Le Beau

Because of Raheim, because of these police officers, because of you, I still have hope. I still have faith and that’s the very hope that Dr. King was speaking about. With this faith, we will be able to change the discord of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.

--Toussaint Romain

"11,000 Americans were arrested this week alone and not one of them were the killers of Breonna Taylor. I have become very desensitized to this. I didn't cry when I watched the George Floyd video of him being murdered. I didn't cry when I saw Ahmaud Arbury being slain in the streets. I didn't cry when I heard Breonna Taylor's story. Why, do you ask? Those are heartbreaking, devastating events. But I could not cry, because I've seen it so many times.

--Raheim Andrews

Quotes Courtesy of Moss Brennan and the Watauga Democrat and Nathan Ham and High Country Press

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