McKinney Rally Draws Hundreds Of Marchers Protesting Police Brutality

The mostly peaceful demonstration comes after a viral video taken at a pool party.

By Stella Chavez & Lauren SilvermanJune 9, 2015 8:42 am|

This story originally appeared on KERA News. 

They came from all over North Texas. Some even flew in for the march. They gathered in front of Comstock Elementary School to hear speakers address the crowd through a megaphone. Others held signs with messages like “All Lives Matter” and “White Privilege Blinds Racism.”

Lashavian Anthony is a barber in McKinney and he thinks what happened at Friday’s pool party goes beyond race.

“I know all of these kids,” he said. “Most of them are my clients. This is not a race issue. This is a compassion issue. This is the people versus the police. This is the people versus people that have power to do what they do.”

Bria Gambrell came from nearby Little Elm. She says the video of the police officer pinning down the teen struck a nerve with her.

“As a 19-year-old, I was once 14 and if a police ever manhandled me in the way that man manhandled her … whether he’s white, black, it doesn’t matter. He should not keep his job.”

But not everyone agreed. Some residents, like Laurie Anderson and her 11-year-old son, Alexandar, watched the protestors walked through their neighborhood.

“I think a sad situation has been completely taken out of context. Things got out of control and now it’s become this incredibly racial conflict that didn’t have to happen in the first place.”

Most of the marchers were black, but Jennifer Moore, who is white, joined them.

“What I saw on that video is unacceptable not matter what. And I just would ask everyone to put yourself in those shoes and if that was your 14-year-old daughter being treated like that. What would you say?”

As the march wrapped up, a black man talked with a small group of white counter protestors. They said they had a good conversation about race and teens. And they say it’s a start toward a better understanding of each other.