A large group of Black Lives Matter protesters marched from Buckhead to Downtown and back June 14 to spotlight racism and police brutality.

The “Walk for Justice” drew more than 300 people, according to organizer Victoria Williams, and traveled a route symbolizing the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, which triggered nationwide and local protests.

Protesters in the “Walk for Justice” march on Peachtree Road near 26th Street in Buckhead June 14. (Special)

“I organized an 8.46-mile walk for the 8.46 minutes the officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd,” Williams said in a text message.

The protest began at the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center on Peachtree Road, a Buckhead location chosen for a reason.

Protesters cross the Peachtree Street bridge between Buckhead and Midtown. (Special)

“I wanted our voices to be heard in Buckhead because I felt that there was a population of people there that could easily ignore the news and continue about their lives,” said Williams. “I wanted to reach people who needed to see the passion and who needed to see that we aren’t going to stop until there is a change.”

Williams, a Sandy Springs resident, said that throughout her life as a black woman, she has been racially profiled. “The profiling that I’ve experienced has not mattered where I am geographically. I’ve lived in Miami, Palo Alto [in California] and Atlanta, and my skin color has been profiled in all three,” she said.

The protesters stop on a Peachtree Street sidewalk in Midtown, a few doors south of the Margaret Mitchell House, the former home of the “Gone with the Wind” author. (Special)

Williams promoted the protest online as peaceful and “family friendly,” and she said it was the first such demonstration that many attendees had ever joined.

Photos taken by participants show marchers carrying signs with such slogans as “The new racism is to deny that racism exists” and “Dismantle white supremacy.”

Among the many names on signs was that of Rayshard Brooks, the black man killed June 12 by an Atlanta Police officer, an incident that triggered large protests and forced the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields.

Photos courtesy Victoria Williams.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.