Hundreds Show Out for Big Rapids Black Lives Matter Protest

For more than a week, protests have sprung up in communities all across the nation, including here in Northern Michigan.

Wednesday afternoon more than a thousand people came out in Big Rapids to stand together.

“It isn’t like them against us,” protester Sparkalena Boose says, “It’s us together.”

“No matter what your background is, no matter what political party you belong to, no matter what your orientation is, it’s going to take all of us,” says protest organizer Byron Brooks.

The efforts for political change and understanding stretch well past the big cities. The crowd marching through Ferris State University’s campus fighting against systemic oppression and fighting for equality.

“To be ignorant of something isn’t a bad thing,” says Boose. “To be ignorant means not to know any better. This is a point to be educated in those things in the small communities.”

“Being a small community in Northern Michigan, many people may have perceptions,” Brooks says. “While they may, I am truly confident that there is more love than hatred within the city.”

Today’s rally was a culmination of several that were planned, the others canceled due to threats. Brooks looked to work hand-in-hand with police on the event.

“To show the community that all police are not bad,” Brooks says.

“There are two ways to be successful at this job,” says Ferris State Department of Public Safety Director Bruce Borkovich. “Number one is to love the community you serve and number two is to build trust with them every day.”

In the end that’s what it’s going to take for peace to prevail, a trust between the police and those they serve.

“At the end of the day they’re policing this community,” Boose says. “So it’s important that they know the communities that they are policing.”