Local reactions to last week’s Wichita Falls protests

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — “I felt the love And that’s what we need the most, what I feel the world needs the most at this time right now,” protester Takalyn Smith said. “Just love and there was a lot of it at both protests.”

Wichita Falls saw two different protests, five days apart.

Smith was there for both protests and thinks the pandemic helped open eyes around the country of problems already existing.

“George Floyd’s death and Breonna Taylor’s death, I think they came at a time you could find the silver lining in the virus cause a lot of people are at home, watching this, are more tuned into this and are starting to see, really see the injustices there,” Smith said.

Wichita Falls police chief Manuel Borrego was also in attendance for both and thinks it’s a huge step in the movement.

“Even though this thing resonated all the way from Minneapolis down to Wichita Falls, Texas,” Borrego said. “The protests were a healing process and a starting point again to be able to communicate and get an understanding.”

Borrego said it starts there and they want to listen.

“It’s always been about communication and understanding and just trying to figure out your community, knowing your community, and what kind of police department does your community expects from you and what kind do they want,” Borrego said.

Smith said seeing people of all races at the protests was uplifting and felt a sense of pride in carrying on a legacy.

“My ancestors went through that and me carrying that torch cause it’s still a battle. So for me to be able to carry that torch and do the chants, walk the streets, hold the signs, it’s empowering and it gives me hope as a black man, that I’m still fighting, I’m not letting the system beat me down,” Smith said.

Two peaceful protests, sending a loud and strong message the way they were intended.

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