The march was led by the group Pittsburgh I Can’t Breathe, a grassroots organization that was recently created in response to the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed last week by a Minneapolis Police officer, and Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed in March by police in Louisville. This marked the fourth consecutive day that large crowds held demonstrations in Pittsburgh to condemn police brutality against Black people.
Unlike events tied to demonstrations on Saturday and Monday, today’s march had no confrontations with police and no arrests. The gathering started in Market Square and then marched to the Allegheny County Jail. Marchers appeared to be a bit skeptical of police officers, who were clearing out traffic in front of the march on the way to the jail, but marchers never confronted police.
Just outside the jail, in front of the Pittsburgh Municipal Court building, a large cavalcade of police officers in riot gear were stationed.
“Hate is too heavy of a burden to carry,” said Clemons. “Let that shit go.”
After the sit-in, the marchers traveled across the 10th Street Bridge over to Carson Street in South Side, and then eventually returned to Market Square. State Rep. Sara Innamorato (D-Lawrenceville) joined the crowd for the majority of the march.
When the protesters arrived back at the square, a speaker told them the plan was to disperse peacefully and there were no plans to continue protesting. The speaker said Pittsburgh I Can’t Breathe is planning another protest for Sun., June 7.
Bradford also said that if asked, he would personally kneel with protesters, but couldn’t comment for other officers. When asked later about the Pittsburgh Police’s role on Monday night, in which officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets first at protesters marching down Centre Avenue, Bradford said he was not inclined to discuss that matter.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and police officials claimed that protesters on Monday threw rocks and projectiles first at police, though first-hand accounts and videos from social media show otherwise.