FERGUSON (AP) — Hundreds marched Saturday throughout the St. Louis area to protest the death of George Floyd.
One of the largest rallies was in Ferguson, which became the epicenter of such protests after the 2014 killing of Michael Brown. The rally was organized by the Ferguson-Florissant School District to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Joseph Davis came to the district in 2015 to become its superintendent because of Brown and the protests following his death.
Davis led the marchers. They gathered at the Ferguson Farmers Market and marched about a half-mile south to the STEAM Academy at McCluer South-Berkeley High School.
Davis told the crowd that systemic racism was part of the problem.
“One of the remedies is, we want to make sure every child in our community gets a high-quality education,” he said. “We feel like that’s the reason for achievement gaps and other ills in our society.”
After the speeches, the group knelt or bowed for 8 minutes and 56 seconds of silence to honor Floyd. That’s the amount of time a Minneapolis officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck.
The scoreboard at one end of the school’s athletic field counted down the time until the buzzer sounded.
There also were marches and rallies in Dutchtown in St. Louis, Crestwood, Webster Groves, Wildwood and Maryland Heights as well as nearby cities in Illinois.