Diverse crowd shows up for Better Dayton Coalition’s Memorial Service

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Better Dayton Coalition held a memorial service at Courthouse Square Tuesday, honoring George Floyd and all lives lost to law enforcement.

One of the stories shared during the service was from a man from Dayton, but said he was childhood friends with Floyd.

He said he was moved to see the diverse crowd in attendance because it embodied what Floyd stood for, unity.

At the service, local faith based leaders read scripture and provided hope to the crowd for a better future. Then, mothers got on stage to say the names of their children killed by law enforcement.

“My name is Patricia Martin,” said one woman. “My son’s name is Dontae Martin Sr. He was killed July 23, 2015 by Harrison Township police department.”

The crowd Tuesday afternoon was comprised of people of all walks of life, who gathered in Courthouse Square in memory of George Floyd and all lives lost to police brutality.

“Standing in front of you, seeing that pain in their eyes, hearing that stutter in their speech, it just puts it in a whole new perspective,” said one attendee, Alana Brookshire. “We’re not just talking about isolated incidents. We’re talking about real families, real people who are losing their families to police brutality.”

It was the first event in George’s honor that Simeon Oyeyemi has gone to.

“I’ve been touched by it personally, so I’ve just been kind of staying home and staying away from mass crowds because some people are out there for the wrong reason,” said Oyeyemi.

Oyeyemi used the platform to share memories of his childhood friend, George Floyd, on the day of Floyd’s funeral. He said it still doesn’t feel real that he is gone.

“His friendships were lifelong, he was one of those true people,” said Oyeyemi. “Seeing all these people out here, it feels good because he wasn’t that type of person, he wasn’t divisive. He was about unity.”

Oyeyemi said moving forward, he wants to see action.

He used the platform on Tuesday to tell the crowd that laws at the Supreme Court level need to change before real progress can be made.

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