George Floyd protests aren't just happening in big cities

Protests against police brutality have spread to all corners of the U.S.

June 20, 2020, 11:29 AM

Protests against racial injustice and police brutality, spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, aren’t just happening in major U.S. cities, but in smaller cities as well as small towns. The video of former police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes has caused widespread outrage and a reckoning about systemic racism.

The number and scale of the protests show the Black Lives Matter movement has gained significant mainstream support. One contributing factor is that younger Americans, who have turned out in force, are more racially diverse. The Brookings Institution indicates it expects the 2020 census to show "that more than half of Americans under age 18 identify as a nonwhite racial or ethnic minority." A noticeable difference to past Black Lives Matter demonstrations has also been the large number of white Americans participating. According to the New York Times, a team of researchers who gathered data from the protest crowds in New York, Washington and Los Angeles found that more than 53% of those surveyed were white Americans. In Washington, 65% of those surveyed were white.

Savannah, Georgia

PHOTO: Kendrick Cutkelvin of Savannah uses a Savannah SWAT vehicle loudspeaker to disperse a small crowd of protesters after a peaceful rally and march in honor of George Floyd, May 31, 2020, in Savannah, Ga.
Kendrick Cutkelvin of Savannah, Georgia uses a SWAT vehicle loudspeaker to disperse a small crowd of protesters after a peaceful rally and march in honor of George Floyd, May 31, 2020, in Savannah.
Stephen B. Morton/AP

"It's important to say that this is not just an issue in big cities just because there's more people," said Joanne Gibson, who led a demonstration of 20 people, mostly, if not all white, in Parachute, Colorado. "It's an issue here. There's systemic racism in all parts of our country. You can't find a place in America that isn't built on a foundation of racism."

Demonstrations have occurred in at least 1,600 places to date, according to tracking by USA Today. In a number of locations, the protests are connected to local cases such as the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Atlanta that have fueled the outrage.

Helena, Montana

"I feel like a lot of people want to pretend that small-town America doesn't have these racial issues, but they are incredibly widespread and incredibly pertinent," Teddy Jumpp, the organizer of one protest in Helena, Montana, told KTVH.

PHOTO: Protesters stand on the steps of the City-County Building in Helena, Mont., May 29, 2020, in solidarity with nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Protesters stand on the steps of the City-County Building in Helena, Mont., May 29, 2020, in solidarity with nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Thom Bridge/AP

Bethesda, Maryland

PHOTO: A peaceful group protests the death of George Floyd and racism at the Bethesda Library, on June 2, 2020, in Bethesda, Md.
A peaceful group protests the death of George Floyd and racism at the Bethesda Library, on June 2, 2020, in Bethesda, Md.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Pasadena, Texas

Protesters and police officers took part in a 9-minute moment of silence in honor of George Floyd during a "Sit in Protest" in Pasadena, Texas.

PHOTO: A woman holds a sign at a Sit In Protest to mourn the death of George Floyd at DeepWater Park, in Pasadena, Texas, on June 7, 2020.
A woman holds a sign at a Sit In Protest to mourn the death of George Floyd at DeepWater Park, in Pasadena, Texas, on June 7, 2020.
Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images
PHOTO: Police officers take a knee and sit along with protestors during a 9 minute moment of silence in honor of George Floyd during a "Sit In Protest" to mourn the death of George Floyd at DeepWater Park in Pasadena, Texas, June 7, 2020.
Police officers take a knee and sit along with protestors during a 9 minute moment of silence in honor of George Floyd during a "Sit In Protest" to mourn the death of George Floyd at DeepWater Park in Pasadena, Texas, June 7, 2020.
Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

PHOTO: Black Lives Matter protesters gather outside of the Glenwood Springs City Hall and Garfield County Sheriff's Office in Glenwood Springs, Colo., June 1, 2020.
Black Lives Matter protesters gather outside of the Glenwood Springs City Hall and Garfield County Sheriff's Office in Glenwood Springs, Colo., June 1, 2020.
Chelsea Self/AP

Louisville, Kentucky

In Louisville, Kentucky people have protested George Floyd's death as well as the death of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was killed by local police during a no-knock warrant at her home.

PHOTO: People march in the streets during a protest against the deaths of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police and George Floyd by Minneapolis police, in Louisville, Kentucky, May 29, 2020.
People march in the streets during a protest against the deaths of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police and George Floyd by Minneapolis police, in Louisville, Kentucky, May 29, 2020.
Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Anna, Illinois

Nearly a century ago this southern Illinois town of 4,200 residents expelled most of its African American residents, according to historians. Some residents said they were marching as a way to try to move beyond their own community's past.

PHOTO:People rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Anna, Ill., June 4, 2020.
People rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Anna, Ill., June 4, 2020.
Brian Munoz/Reuters

Demonstrations have sometimes faced counter-protesters.

PHOTO: Jessica Moore, of Ullin, Ill., attempts a dialogue with a counter-protester while rallying against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Anna, Ill., June 4, 2020.
Jessica Moore, of Ullin, Ill., attempts a dialogue with a counter-protester while rallying against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Anna, Ill., June 4, 2020.
Brian Munoz/Reuters

Kansas City, Missouri

PHOTO: Demonstrators gather at police headquarters in downtown Kansas City, Mo., June 5, 2020, as they protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Demonstrators gather at police headquarters in downtown Kansas City, Mo., June 5, 2020, as they protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
Charlie Riedel/AP

Clayton, Missouri

PHOTO: People take to the street to protest against police brutality, June 6, 2020, in Clayton, Mo.
People take to the street to protest against police brutality, June 6, 2020, in Clayton, Mo.
Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Monroeville, Pennsylvania

PHOTO:Protesters sit with their arms raised for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, honoring George Floyd, at an intersection, June 9, 2020, in Monroeville, Pa. The peaceful protest was organized by 16-year-old Elena Alarcon, of Turtle Creek.
Protesters sit with their arms raised for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, honoring George Floyd, at an intersection, June 9, 2020, in Monroeville, Pa. The peaceful protest was organized by 16-year-old Elena Alarcon, of Turtle Creek.
Lily Laregina/AP

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

PHOTO: Jeramy Hughes stands next to Shayla Skinner, holding her son J'Kai Skinner, 2, during a remembrance in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, June 7, 2020, for George Floyd.
Jeramy Hughes stands next to Shayla Skinner, holding her son J'Kai Skinner, 2, during a remembrance in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, June 7, 2020, for George Floyd.
Kathy Plonka/AP

Beecher, Michigan

PHOTO: Jernaria Wright, 15, of Beecher, raises her fist as she marches in protest against police brutality and racial injustice, June 13, 2020, in Beecher, Mich.
Jernaria Wright, 15, of Beecher, raises her fist as she marches in protest against police brutality and racial injustice, June 13, 2020, in Beecher, Mich.
Jake May/AP

Lawrence, Kansas

PHOTO: Protesters hold signs at a rally at a park in Lawrence, Kan., May 31, 2020, over the death of George Floyd.
Protesters hold signs at a rally at a park in Lawrence, Kan., May 31, 2020, over the death of George Floyd.
Orlin Wagner/AP

Nashville, Tennessee

PHOTO: Marchers take part in a peaceful protest, June 4, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., over the death of George Floyd.
Marchers take part in a peaceful protest, June 4, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., over the death of George Floyd.
Mark Humphrey/AP

Salem, Massachusetts

PHOTO: A woman and child watch from a window as demonstrators pass by protesting against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, in Salem, Mass., June 12, 2020.
A woman and child watch from a window as demonstrators pass by protesting against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, in Salem, Mass., June 12, 2020.
Brian Snyder/Reuters

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