Thousands rally and protest in peaceful Black Lives Matter and Back the Blue marches

Saturday saw more protests by Black Lives Matter members and supporters speaking out against police brutality and systematic racism.

They were joined by a “Back the Blue” rally to support law enforcement after recent criticism took to the streets outside the Tampa Police Department’s District 1 building on W. Tampa Bay Boulevard Saturday morning.

Bay News 9 described the BLM march as “…one of the largest and loudest gatherings of protesters in the Tampa Bay area since the social justice marches began about three weeks ago. Organizers estimate about 5,000 people took to the streets chanting, and carrying signs to raise awareness.”

“It’s a culmination of a love for the city of Tampa that we are allowing people to come out, express themselves and their disdain for police brutality,” said Chaikirah Parker of Black Lives Matter.

Tampa protesters photo/twitter screenshot

Citizens in the “Back the Blue” marched with their signs and banners, offering up their chant.

“Yes, there are bad police officers,” said Jack Fernandez of Tampa to BN9. “There’s bad farmers, there’s bad doctors, there’s bad teachers. You can’t just judge all of these officers based on an incident.”

“I will support the people who want to change the racial climate in this country, but I’m also going to support my men and women in blue,” said Tamara Sugar of Tampa.

 

Police reported no arrests, even when the two groups faced off in loud chants and yelling.

 

 

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