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'I can't breathe': Protests in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor take place in downtown Dallas and Fort Worth

The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have sparked protests and calls for justice across the U.S.

United My Justice and Next Generation Action Network, along with other civil rights organizations, protested Friday evening in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

The United My Justice protest started at 6 p.m. in downtown Fort Worth. The group is asking those who want to participate in the march to meet at the old courthouse.

Next Generation Action Network's (NGAN) “solidarity rally and march” started at 6:30 p.m. at 1400 South Lamar Street in Dallas.

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NGAN says it's demanding full transparency, equality in the judicial system and reform for the communities of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Dallas

On Friday, protesters also gathered at the Dallas Police Department.

Protesters chanted "I can't breathe!" and "I'm human! I'm an American, too!" outside the police station. 

Dallas police said about 400 people were protesting in Dallas. At least one arrest had been made as of late Friday; no protester injuries have been reported. One police officer was treated by Dallas Fire-Rescue for non-life-threatening injuries.

Before taking to the streets and marching through Dallas, the protesters rallied at the headquarters of the Dallas Police Department on Lamar Street south of downtown.

“At the end of the day what we saw was murder,” Dominique Alexander told the crowd. Alexander founded Next Generation Action Network and organized Friday night’s rally. “There’s no way in hell you put your knee on someone’s neck and think they’re going to be able to breathe.”

State Sen. Royce West was among the dozen or so speakers addressing a crowd so large it spilled into the streets.

“We can’t breathe!” protesters chanted, at times taking a knee. They held a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd – a native Texan.

“They are killing us for no reason. No reason!” said a teenager from Dallas who said she just finished the 8th grade.

The crowd included people of all ages and races, and a white mother with two young black sons said that’s the way it should be.

 “People with their skin color are being killed,” she said pointing at her son’s stroller. “He’s three and I had to tell him that today. It’s not right. It’s not OK. It has to stop.”

The march took the protesters downtown to the intersection of Lamar and Griffin Streets, where they spray-painted a Dallas police squad car and some jumped on to a car and yelled at police officers.

"If you do not disperse, you will be arrested," police told the crowd gathered in the intersection. 

RELATED: Small group of protesters clash with police in downtown Dallas

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson urged the protests to stay peaceful, saying on Twitter,

"I understand the outrage, and I feel this pain deeply. What happened in Minneapolis is unacceptable. But please, remain peaceful."

Protesters also ended up briefly shutting down traffic on Interstate 35-E when they walked onto the highway. No injuries were reported from that incident.

Fort Worth

In Fort Worth, shouts of "No justice, no peace" filled Sundance Square.

Approximately 150 protesters gathered in Fort Worth and marched through the streets of downtown.

The protest remained peaceful and continue for a couple hours before dispersing. 

 

George Floyd and Breonna Taylor

A bystander captured the video of George Floyd handcuffed and lying face down on the ground in Minneapolis, as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his knee to the man’s neck for several minutes.

Credit: WFAA

RELATED: 'This is not OK': North Texans respond to racially charged cases making national attention

The video showed Floyd pleading for help and yelling, “I can’t breathe!” He was later pronounced dead.

Four officers were fired and Friday, former officer Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

RELATED: Derek Chauvin charged with 3rd degree murder, manslaughter in death of George Floyd

Since Floyd’s death, protests have been held across the United States. Minneapolis had its third consecutive night of protests Thursday that turned violent, during which people breached the police department’s third precinct and set the building on fire.

RELATED: George Floyd's uncle decries violent protests

Breonna Taylor’s death also sparked frustration across the country. The 26-year-old EMT was shot multiple times by Louisville Metro police officers in her apartment after police served a “no-knock” warrant.

“The repeated acts of unjust aggression, excessive force and often lethal violence towards African-Americans in the United States perpetuates the painful and traumatizing redundancy of police brutality,” NGAN said of Floyd and Taylor’s deaths.

RELATED: 'No justice, no peace': Everything that led to Louisville's Breonna Taylor protest

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