LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — As part of ongoing nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice, about 100 Las Crucens took to the street Saturday in triple-digit heat and blocked busy intersections in support.
The protesters stood in solidarity with those from across the world in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The demonstration prompted Las Cruces Police to block several intersections near Mesilla Valley Mall temporarily.
“My friend actually had to go into Walgreens to get a first aid kit because peoples knees were starting to burn. And it’s really crazy that, that is what this has all come to, to that, that is what needs to happen in order to receive justice,” Said Atalie Brown
Las Cruces Police closed Telshor Boulevard and Lohman Avenue, Spruce Avenue, and Foothills Road along with Lohman Avenue at I-25 and Foothills Road as a precaution to ensure the safety of protesters.
“I feel like them being frustrated; we were only standing there for nine minutes representing George Floyd. I feel like you could give nine minutes of your life just to sit there and let us protest and to the people that stayed, thank you. And at least know that you understood what we were doing,” said Deja Frank, a Las Cruces Protester.
LCPD released a statement saying they encourage peaceful protests and asks motorists to be aware of an increase in foot traffic in the surrounding area.
“The thing about Cruces cops is I won’t let anybody say ‘F the cops’ in our protest — because we have good cops here in Cruces,” said protest organizer Brianna Macias.
The organizers of the protest were community members. Co-organizer Fallon Murphy says no local official black organizations were involved in organizing Saturday’s protest. Adding that she and other organizers did receive guidance from the Black Lives Matter Seattle Chapter.
“At all points during the protest there are people out there that were managing that group of protesters and making sure that they’re not in danger,” said protest organizer Fallon Murphy.
Murphy adding that Saturday’s protest was planned before an LCPD officer faced charges of involuntary manslaughter for using a “vascular neck restraint technique” in the death of Antonio Valenzuela.
“At this time we don’t have any official protests planned but after the response from today, we’ve seen so much community support and collaboration that many are willing and wanting to keep fighting for justice with us. There’s definitely a high possibility for another protest being organized again,” said Murphy.