A meandering protest Thursday evening started in Buffalo's Niagara Square, worked through the East Side to murals near Broadway and Pratt Street of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, ultimately winding up at the Erie County Holding Center before a final return to Niagara Square. The event was focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, and included several people on bicycles following the hit-and-run injury of a Slow Roll board member and well-known protester.
Karen Huffman was run over in the hit-and-run in front of City Hall Wednesday night during a protest. Slow Roll Co-founder Seamus Gallivan said it was deliberate act.
"A motorist suddenly revved up and ran through, and our beloved Karen is at ECMC with broken bones but with great spirit," Gallivan said. "And I have to give some props to folks at ECMC, because she's a flight risk. If they don't hold her down, she'll be here (laughter)."
The protests are becoming locally specific, not just Black Lives Matter, but demands for public officials like Mayor Byron Brown, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Erie County District Attorney John Flynn to quit or else the protest movement will defeat them.
India Walton told the march stop at Broadway and Iroquois Avenue that Black people are pressed down by issues, from health care to a lack of food for families.
"If you're that desperate to feed your children, your family, your wife, your brothers, your sisters, your nieces, your nephews, you are willing to do some desperate things to feed them, to make ends meet, to make sure your people eat," Walton said.
The march spent a long time at the Holding Center, where protesters swarmed over the front of the building while speakers attacked the operation and the criminal justice system that put them there.
Activist Myles Carter told the crowd the names of Buffalo Police officers who should be inside instead of on patrol. Carter wants budget priorities changed.
"$143 million on the Buffalo Police Department," Carter said. "Just 18 police officers that we have made a list of that are guilty of crimes against the citizens of the City of Buffalo and the County of Erie both. Their salaries combined are $1.5 million."