ATLANTA (WJW) — Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice King, is urging protesters to demonstrate in a nonviolent manner.
Protests broke out across the nation this past weekend in response to the death of George Floyd.
Floyd died last Monday in Minneapolis after a police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than 8 minutes. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder. Floyd was black and Chauvin is white.
Most of this weekend’s protests were peaceful, however, some turned violent including in Cleveland and Columbus, prompting governors of multiple states to activate the National Guard. Protesters were seen looting, rioting and clashing with police.
Dr. Bernice King spoke out during an Atlanta city briefing on Saturday, asking for nonviolence.
“As I stand here in this moment and look at my journey, I have to make an appeal to my brothers and sisters, because I realized that the only way to get constructive change is through nonviolent means,” she said.
She continued to say that many people have been using her father’s words “riots are the language of the unheard.”
However, she continued to say the only way to overcome systemic racism and white supremacy in America is through nonviolent means.
“It is a proven method,” King said. “It did not fail my father… it did not fail them. Because when you really understand it and really practice it, it brings about the results.”
She acknowledges that African Americans want change and they want it now, but reiterates violence is not the solution.
“Change never comes through violence. It is not a solution. Violence, in fact, creates more problems,” she explained.
King says that those acting violently are not honoring the legacy of her father or that of George Floyd. Instead, they must fight for justice peacefully as nonviolence seeks true peace.