March to protest death of George Floyd will focus on ‘love and equality,’ organizers say.
Updated: Jun 16
By SARA VANDEN BERGE
Alex Jimenez is doing something that’s very rarely done in Stephenville; he’s organizing a protest rally.
Alex is a 2015 graduate of Stephenville High School and the son of Julio and Emma Jimenez.
But something unexpected happened recently while Alex was home spending the summer with his family; George Floyd was murdered by a police officer who kneeled on his neck and choked the life right out of him.
Floyd’s death has sparked peaceful protests and angry riots across the country, and it’s sparked something inside Alex as well.
Tonight, he will lead a protest march of his own, starting at 6 p.m. at Optimist-Jaycee Park.
“We are not trying to cause any problems,” Alex said. “But if you just look at the video of George Floyd, he should be alive today, and he isn’t the only one.”
Alex said his desire for social justice was inspired by Colin Kaepernick.
“He inspired me personally and it made me a better person,” Alex said. “I didn’t agree with everything he did, but I supported his message.
“I believe that’s when I became an adult; when my mentality became an adult.”
Alex said his desire for equality is largely inspired by his two black godsons.
“I look at my own godsons, and if this doesn’t change, who’s to say it’s not George Floyd under a cop’s knee, but one of them?”
Alex’s longtime friend Jayden Freed is also helping organize tonight’s event.
Jayden was born and raised in Stephenville and also graduated from SHS in 2015.
“Love and equality is our message,” she said. “We are not here to cause problems and are purposely staying away from businesses.
“The police have assured us that they will try to keep outsiders out of this.”
Jayden said she hopes the march will also be a sign of solidarity with Tarleton State University students.
“It’s important to show unity,” she said.
Tonight’s rally will begin at 6 p.m. at Optimist-Jaycee Park, then a march will make its way down Harbin Street (south toward Tarleton) and turn around at Sloan Street to head back to the park.
There will be a strong police presence and streets will be barricaded to prevent vehicular traffic.
Stephenville Police Chief Dan Harris and Asst. Chief Jason Halsey plan to march alongside protesters.