Organizers are planning a protest in Downtown Tiffin following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes while taking him into custody in Minnesota.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with murder.
Protests have been taking place in cities from coast to coast as demonstrators decry years of deaths at police hands.
The protest in Downtown Tiffin is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at the Seneca County Joint Justice Center on E. Market St.
“This will be a peaceful protest that detests the police brutality that killed George Floyd and so many before him. Silence = police violence, and so I urge Tiffinites to not stay silent anymore, demand change and hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. Social distancing is encouraged by keeping 6 feet apart and wearing a mask is encouraged,” Tiffin protest organizer Riley Williams wrote on social media.
Racially diverse crowds have taken to the streets for mostly peaceful protests in dozens of cities following Floyd’s death on Monday.
Floyd’s death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner. Garner, also an unarmed black man, repeated “I can’t breathe” eleven times after being placed in a chokehold by a New York police officer during an arrest in Staten Island.
The governor said he understands there are feelings of frustration, fear and pain for fellow African American Citizens.
“I want to make sure as governor of this state that I say to every African American, every African American male, women, children, you are valued. You are an essential part of this community and no one will forget that,” said DeWine. “Through your pain, your anger, your grief, you are valued. You are important members of our community.”
“Protests expressing outrage are not only understandable, they are appropriate,” said DeWine.
DeWine added that many of the peaceful voices in the protests have been drowned out by a “smaller group of violent individuals.”
“The majority of demonstrators want simply to be heard, and we welcome the voices of the individuals who are focusing attention on the tragic death of George Floyd and on other injustices. But, sadly, these voices calling for justice and change are being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals who threaten the safety of the citizens of our community. Acts of violence will not be accepted nor tolerated. This violence must stop,” DeWine said in a statement.