Thousands March Into Bricktown, Participate In Black Lives Matter Rally
OKLAHOMA CITY - Under the Oklahoma summer sun, thousands marched and participated at the Black Lives Matter rally Sunday evening in Bricktown.
The march started slightly earlier than scheduled. Shortly after 5 p.m. marchers walked from 2nd and Walnut and ending in front of the Harkins Theatres.
An estimated 2,000 to 2,500 people marched into Bricktown, Oklahoma City police said. About 100 Oklahoma City officers worked the event and had help from FBI and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.
"Overall, the event was very positive and uneventful with few incidents," Oklahoma City police Capt. Paco Balderrama said after the rally. "The vast majority of the crowd was pleasant and supportive of the police officers working the event. Several hugs, handshakes and 'thank you' were exchanged as well as pictures with police officers. We are proud to have been able to protect the First Amendment rights of the participants of today’s demonstration without incidents."
For many at the march, the rally was meant to be positive and to affect positive change.
The rally started with a moment of silence for the officers and victims in the Dallas shootings.
Many speakers told the participants that it is up to them to affect positive change for their community and the best way to have their voices be heard is through their votes.
During the rally, a group of counter-protesters with Confederate rebel flags stood north of the Black Lives Matter rally.
Uniformed Oklahoma City police officers stood between the two groups and later walked the counter-protesters away in hopes of keeping tensions down.
The rally paused several times as multiple people became overcome by the heat. Paramedics treated seven people at the rally, Oklahoma City police said. Four of the seven were taken to hospitals for heat-related illness.
The rally remained peaceful throughout the evening and ended with a poem.
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