FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Led by pastors, a March for Unity and Black Lives Matter protest, peacefully wound its way through Fort Lauderdale on Friday.
The group started at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in the 800 block of 28th Avenue.
From there, they marched peacefully to BSO headquarters, with a BSO escort, which shutdown Broward Boulevard and 27th Avenue, right in front of the headquarters.
The group then marched to the Fort Lauderdale Police Station.
Just as rush hour was starting… Young black pastors gathered with their community in Fort Lauderdale. The march, organized by pastor Jimmy Witherspoon, was to protest the murder of George Floyd and all those who came before him.
“At the end of the day, we are coming together unified and standing together as a united front,” said Witherspoon.
The march was peaceful and grew as they walked down 27th Avenue.
Valarie Sears brought her grandkids.
“It could have been my dad, my uncle, my cousin, my husband. When he said mama, that was every black mother in the world. Or mother period. It don’t even have to be a color. There just has to be justice,” said Sears.
“It is different. We are unified. We are together. We have a community together. We are not separate. We even got the BSO here,” said pastor Lee McCray.
The group stopped at intersections to pray to utter the last words that set off the nation.
“I can’t breath!”
Just before 6 p.m., the group reached the Broward Sheriff’s office… shutting down Broward Boulevard.
Belinda Montovo and her kids had a front-row seat to the movement.
“We are happy this is going on. It’s different when you see it first hand. Not like on TV. They are a little scared by it. But we are all for it,” said Montovo.
Broward’s Sheriff Gregory Tony stepped outside of his office to show support. The protestors moved on to Fort Lauderdale though before he had a chance to join them.
Sheriff Tony said, “I am 100% behind them. I will continue to support them.”
The protest wrapped up here in Fort Lauderdale around 6:30 p.m.
The pastors were proud to have their voices heard… to be the spark for change.
They are considering doing this again to keep the conversation going.
There were several other protests in Broward County including one in Davie and Weston.
The protests in South Florida and across the rest of the nation are calling for police reform and the end tof systematic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer.