Demonstrators in Dover are the latest to protest the deaths of George Floyd and others at the hands of the police.
Protesters made their way around the state capital Sunday, voicing their displeasure until a curfew was put in place at 9 p.m. after two stores at Dover Mall were looted.
Among their early stops Sunday afternoon was Legislative Hall.
When they stopped at Legislative Hall, longtime Dover resident Jordan Franklin pushed the group to continue working to get the attention of state leaders peacefully.
“The purpose of all these buildings and everything right here is to serve us. That’s their job. They’re here to serve us,” Franklin said. “So, that’s why we assemble. When they see this, they get scared. Things when we assemble. So, we need to understand this don’t stop here.”
Delaware State NAACP President Richard “Mouse” Smith told the peaceful gathering there that change starts with young adults. He called on them to be leaders in the community and government.
“It’s got to be you guys who take Dover by the hand and college and stuff and say we want change. You got to run somebody for office. You got to put young people onto city council,” Smith said. “You got to take young people and put in the state where they make the rules. The Senate and the House. You guys got to make that change.”
Smith said leadership and organization are keys to change, using Saturday’s protest in Wilmington as an example.
“The broke into the sneaker store. They did everything. When you look at the people out there, they didn’t have no leadership,” Smith said. “They had little kids out there. Mothers in the strollers and babies and stuff running out. It should not be like that. Organize! Organize! Know what you want. Give platform. Give talking points. Keep it going.”
The protestors started at the Dover Police Station and marched through the evening, heading up Route 13 to the State Police headquarters.
At one point when they stopped at Dover Mall, where WBOC reports two stores were broken into before police intervened. WBOC reports police say another store south of the mall was also broken into.
Shortly afterward, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen declared a state of emergency and a curfew from 9pm to 6 am. That curfew is in effect until further notice.
The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has sparked protests across the nation. Some have led to violence after starting peacefully.
This story has been updated