George Floyd: Saturday’s protest organizers did not want violence

DAYTON — Saturday was the first demonstration in downtown Dayton.

It started peacefully outside the federal courthouse, but later News Center 7 saw other groups of protesters around downtown and in the Oregon District that damaged property, as well as threw things at police.

News Center 7’s Ronnell Hunt was covering Saturday’s protest and talked with a protest organizer about what happened.

Protest organizer Asia Gibbs gathered Saturday to spread a peaceful, but stern message.

"We didn't come out here to murder any more black or brown people or any of the people that are standing with us. We came out here because we are exhausted....We are exhausted" Gibbs said Saturday night.

Gibbs told Hunt when she left for a bit to help with another group that when things escalated with people throwing items like bottles and rocks at police eventually returned and helped the calm the crowd.

“When I was able to regain with everyone, I began to speak that message about unity, about standing together and what I did was allow the people that were their to get their voice out. To put a level of organization together so people can speak their truth."

In other parts of the area, protesters began throwing items at police, breaking windows of businesses and property vandalize.

At least two police cars were sprayed with graffiti. So was the historic courthouse square and a memorial to a fallen Dayton Police officer Steve Whalen.

Almost all of the graffiti defamed local police officers - who ironically, just months ago, had officers receiving the Medal of Valor from President Trump after they ran towards gunfire during the Oregon District a mass shooting.

News Center 7′s Ronnell Hunt showed the graffiti photos to Gibbs, she told him she hated to see it, but understood the frustration of people.

“Do I think it’s great or do I think it’s acceptable to deface property, no. But do i understand, yes. I was talking to my sister the other day about rioting being acceptable. I said it’s never acceptable, but it’s understandable.” Gibbs said.