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Youth leads second weekend of peaceful protesting in Med City

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Organizer and recent high school graduate, Darrell
Roch protest

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) - Saturday afternoon, nearly a thousand people came together for George Floyd.

It may surprise some that all of the event organizers were young people.

"Because those in power aren't taking advantage of their power and they're using for more personal reason instead of supporting the entire community," said Mouny, a Rochester college student.

They say they are not just protesting the death of George Floyd.

"It's also about the systemic and institutionalized powers that are no longer serving us as citizens of the United States and our civilians," said Darrell, a recent high school graduate and Med City resident.

He says one system needing reform is the police department.

"That has to do with training," said Darrell, who spoke to the crowd. "Not only just cop training, but racial and equity training."

But it doesn't stop there.

"We're also asking for better legislation, law-making processes and policies being passed," clarified Darrell. "A lot of policies now are infringing on constitutional rights."

The group has worked with people such as Mayor Kim Norton who hopes to get them in contact with the police chief.

"She wanted to schedule a meeting with him, us and the community as an open forum but we haven't talked to him yet," said Muntaas, another organizer and Rochester resident.

After marching from Martin Luther King Jr. Park to Mayo Park, speakers led the crowd with powerful calls for change.

The young people were encouraged by the amount of people from all generations and walks of life that showed up.

"It gives us a lot of hope and it makes us feel better and united more as a solidarity," said Darrell.

However, after saying their side, the protesters hope elected officials listen to their voice or risk getting voted out of office.

"A lot of the officials need to take a step back and listen to what we're saying and then take action based off of that," Muntaas said. "Work with the community and youth to have everlasting change."

The movement will continue Sunday with another protest at Silver Lake Park beginning at 3.

Alex Tejada

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