BENSON – A peaceful demonstration was held Monday afternoon in Downtown Benson. Approximately 30 people marched from a nearby housing development to the Benson Town Hall where they were joined by 24 additional supporters. Organizers discussed the tragic death of George Floyd and police violence.
The Benson Police Department led the protestors the entire way and the Benson Fire Department helped block off streets for safety. The group gathered outside the Town Hall and ended with prayer.
On Tuesday, Benson Mayor Jerry Medlin and Town Manager Fred Nelson issued a joint statement:
We have come together to express our abhorrence of the horrific murder of George Floyd, an act of unspeakable violence, cold inhumanity, and racism.
The photographic evidence of this act speaks for itself. Mr. Floyd was suffocated to death by a Minneapolis police officer while pleading for his life as three other officers knelt or stood by and did nothing to help him, even as he called out, “I can’t breathe!”
As a society, we cannot tolerate this kind of police violence rooted in systemic racism. We work closely with the police leadership in our town and we know that they also will not tolerate this kind of police violence and racism within their force.
Such acts not only harm innocent people, but they also deeply erode trust in our police forces, despite the good work of so many officers everyday — officers who themselves abhor the racism and violence so evident in the death of George Floyd.
Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd and his family. We expect a full and fair trial of the police officers involved. We also support the rights of those who are peacefully protesting and honoring the memory of George Floyd and countless others that have been victims of systemic racism and police violence.
Let’s work together to ensure that protests remain peaceful and stay focused on building equitable and just cities for all in Benson and North Carolina. Let the peaceful demonstration on Monday be the beginning of a close relationship among all citizens of Benson and to do the things that make the town and its people better in every way.
The Town of Benson thanked the organizers of the event – Jay Ross and CJ Redmond. “We are proud of our town, our residents, our police department, fire department, business owners, and officials for truly coming together to make this event a peaceful one,” officials said today.