Hundreds Take To The Streets In Providence In Solidarity With Baltimore

May 2, 2015

Hundreds of protestors marched through the streets of Providence Saturday demanding better relations with law enforcement. The event took place in solidarity with similar demonstrations in Baltimore.

Protesters in Providence
Credit John Bender / RIPR

Flanked by police officers, community members, organizers and activists marched through the streets carrying signs that read "black lives matter," "end police brutality," and simply "resist."

The demonstration was spurred by the recent death of Freddie Gray, a black man in Baltimore who died following injuries he sustained while in police custody.

In Providence, the crowd convened at Classical High School before marching downtown, and demonstrating at city hall and the Public Safety Complex. 

Protesters marching through the streets of Providence
Credit John Bender / RIPR

While the demonstration remained peaceful, community members say poor relations and high tensions with police are comparable to those in Maryland.

Providence resident Trashauna Bliss, 18, said she’s worried that something similar will happen between police and residents in Rhode Island.

“We’re here speaking up for Providence because we feel like it’s a matter of time before something could happen here and they could get away with it,” said Bliss.

Credit John Bender / RIPR

Providence resident Tyrone McKinney, 53, was also marching.

“I got my grandkids with me, letting them know that black lives do matter," said McKinney. "Not only black lives, but other lives as well.  They lost their father in the battle of the streets out here. So as a result of that, they need to be out here, marching right along with me for equality and uplift of their community."

A line of police watch as hundreds of protesters march by.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

The police present had no comment.

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