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Protesting with purpose: Tallahassee protesters determined to keep pushing for change

Posted at 11:40 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 23:40:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The protests in Tallahassee come just 24 hours after a grand jury found three, deadly officer-involved shootings justified. Despite those arrests and confrontations, for many, they're protesting with a purpose.

They talked to ABC 27 about what keeps them showing up time and time again.

[More coverage: Arrests made during protest over Leon County Grand Jury decision on officer-involved shootings]

Pounding the pavement week after week, protesters say they are trying to:

"Get our point across... a simple point for things to change," said Warren Sylne.

Warren Slen joined about 100 other people Saturday to protest the grand jury's decision to not charge officers in three, deadly officer-involved shootings in Tallahassee.

Slen says, as an African-American man, responding to what's happening in the world right now is personal.

"It just hurts to hear that. That's why we're here today. We want to control whose in office, whose the chief, things like that, Sylne explained. "To hear that nobody's convicted that, nothing has changed; It's that same narrative."

That decision came down just 24 hours before protests began.

Other people there were marching for the people they love.

"I know this is bigger than me and I want a better life for my mom and my sister," said Estefania Vallejo Santiago.

Frustration a common emotion, knowing that no disciplinary action was taken against officers in any of the three cases.

"It was unsurprising as well, it's something I already expected to happen," said Santiago. "It's just ridiculous that people have to keep coming out here in this heat and keep having to protest."

But the determination to get justice for all keeps their feet on the ground, hoping each step is a step toward change.

"Things aren't right...we need change," said Sylne.

TCAC has held more than five protests related to officer-involved shootings in Tallahassee just this year.

In total, 15 people were arrested. TPD says an investigation into the incident is ongoing. No charges have been announced.