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Protesters in Jupiter call for change, march along Indiantown Road

Death of George Floyd spurs calls for social justice
Posted at 12:27 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 20:48:24-04

JUPITER, Fla. — A large crowd of peaceful protesters marched along Indiantown Road in Jupiter on Tuesday, urging for police reform following the death of George Floyd.

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Around noon, the demonstrators were near the intersection with Central Boulevard.

Chopper 5 flew over the scene and spotted protesters carrying signs that read "stop shooting black people," "black lives matter" and "vote for change."

"We have a persistent, rampant racial injustice problem in our country. We need, all of us, to speak up. The time to sit back has passed," said Melanie Jones, a teacher who was at the protest.

Jones said since the death of Floyd it has "absolutely" made her more aware of the situation.

"It's our kids that have made us aware. We need to be better for them and because of them," said Jones.

Teacher Amy Thoman said she attended the protest because she believes in social justice and social action, calling it our duty as citizens.

"I really think that unity is something that we've lost in this country, and we need to recuperate it. It's going to take a lot of work," said Thoman.

WEB EXTRA: Protesters hold demonstration in Jupiter

Protester Jill DeMario said she joined the demonstration to "speak for people who have not had a voice for hundreds and hundreds of years in our country and world."

DeMario said their protest was briefly disrupted by some agitators driving through the community, cursing at them and saying "black lives don't matter."

Derline Smith, a nurse who attended the protest, said she was encouraged by the turnout.

"I love it, that everyone showed up, to show the community, the world, that all lives matter, including black lives matter," said Smith.

However, Smith said the pain of Floyd's death is still resonating.

"I'm still mad. I'm a nurse. I can't believe that anyone could hold their knee on someone's neck for eight minutes and 42 seconds," said Smith.

There was a heavy presence of police and Florida Highway Patrol troopers in the area for the protest.

FHP stationed around 20 vehicles at the intersection with Interstate 95.