“I have thought nonstop, personally, about George Floyd and this incident, and others before him nonstop, and again I want to thank you for being peaceful, for doing what you are doing, and you have our full support to make sure that you remain safe.”
Arianna Engelhaupt, a recent Northern Arizona University graduate, wanted to be clear that she was not a leader of the protest and was speaking as just one voice from within the protest.
“Personally, as a black woman in Flagstaff I haven’t experienced police brutality myself; I haven’t seen it, but I know that it’s happened to a lot of my fellow peers and students that go to NAU. Not just with NAU PD but with the Flagstaff PD. And I know all cops aren’t bad and I know all cops aren’t racist, but our goal here today is to fight for, at least for me, more training within the police force. Like what kind of training do they do when it comes to dealing with people of diverse backgrounds, and is it different? And if it is different, they need to realize it because I think some people don’t even realize that they are treating other people differently.
Protestors raise their hands in a moment of solidarity during the police brutality protest that marched from the Flagstaff Police Department to downtown Thursday afternoon.
“My first protest here in Flagstaff was Sunday and there was only one police officer, and to see that was crazy because on the news, all on social media, there’s police in their riot gear and it’s just scary. But coming here there’s just one police officer, and I kind of admired them for that because they didn’t come with that violent persona to the protest. Because when you bring violence or fear it causes fear and it causes violence, so to see the police today guiding us through the streets to our destination, that means a lot rather than being scared of us and having that riot gear, because we aren’t going to do anything to them; we’re not here to do anything to them.