LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In Little Rock on Saturday, 14 hours of protesting turned into hours of clean-up on Sunday, as people picked up the broken pieces that were left behind.
Clean-up was already underway at 8 a.m. while protesters from the night before came to the Capitol to look at the damage done.
Protester Shawnie McCoy believes their voices were heard, but there’s still a lot of work left to do.
“We just gotta make sure the right people are hearing our cries,” he said.
Behind the broken windows, graffiti and vandalism, protester Chris James said there’s a community in pain.
“Why are you burning the flags? Why are you vandalizing? But what better solutions do you have for hurt people? What better solutions?” he said.
Answers that, according to McCoy, seem to be too far to reach after years of searching through signs and chants.
“We’ve done plenty peaceful protests and how much change have we seen?” he said.
Both McCoy and James spent their Saturday night fighting for this change they want to see.
James believes the damage left is no match to the injustices they deal with every day.
“I don’t think anything that happened last night compares to the lives that have been taken,” he said.
Twelve hours after tear gas was deployed right in front of the Capitol, a different type of stance was taking place by Kenny Chatmon.
“There’s ways to do stuff without having violence,” he said.
Chatmon spent his morning sitting by himself, headphones in, holding a sign with the same message the protesters wanted to get across the night before: “Our Lives Matter.”
“I don’t want to be considered one of those individuals like, just a hoodlum, as some folks put us out there, as black people, and I don’t want to be labeled as that,” he said.
This same cry for justice heard through our city’s streets and beyond.
“It’s not just here in Little Rock, it’s just not in Minneapolis, it’s not just in Florida, it’s everywhere. It is everywhere and it could be anyone of us at any time,” McCoy said.
One woman said she was proud of what happened in Little Rock on Saturday night because people were fighting for justice, but they didn’t have to destroy our city to get their message across.