Oceanside protest leader: Funds from police budget should be reinvested into community, youth services

In the sea of Black Lives Matter protesters, the tiniest voice left the biggest impression on many. Nine-year-old Cristiana Gant, of Rockville Centre, says she has felt the sting of racial slurs in school.

News 12 Staff

Jun 18, 2020, 2:02 AM

Updated 1,493 days ago

Share:

Protesters took to the streets of Oceanside Wednesday night to get out their message against systemic racism.
In the sea of Black Lives Matter protesters, the tiniest voice left the biggest impression on many. Nine-year-old Cristiana Gant, of Rockville Centre, says she has felt the sting of racial slurs in school.
"I feel that racism is evil and unacceptable," says Gant. "I want this place to be peaceful and equal."
Gant says the death of George Floyd more than three weeks ago broke her heart, saying, "Being colored is not a crime and all of us know that."
It's a message like Gant's that have brought protesters to the streets of New York for 21 days in a row, bringing an energy determined to not slow down.
"Our message is Black Lives Matter. All lives can't matter until black lives matter," says Mikayla Arons, of Valley Stream. "It's been systematic injustices time after time and it needs to end now."
Protesters in Oceanside marched along a 3-mile stretch of Long Beach Road, demanding an end to police brutality.
"You all think my skin color is a weapon or anything. It's not a weapon. I'm a person too, I'm a human being. That's what people have to understand," says Landon Daley, of Freeport.
Since the protests began, changes have been made. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed sweeping police reform bills into law. Chokeholds are now banned and 50A, a law that shields police records, has been repealed.
Protesters want to see more. Lorena Roberts says reinvesting a portion of the police budget into community and youth services will make a difference.
"We're going to be walking so we can get enough and bring awareness to make a change in the law system," says Roberts.
 


More from News 12