The death of George Floyd was on the minds of several hundred protester at a demonstration held in downtown New Philadelphia this past Sunday.

Floyd died while in the custody of Minneapolis police on May 25.

Protesters gathered at the Tuscarawas County Courthouse, and then peacefully marched to Tuscora Park.

Malvern residents Kara and Shawn Ball participated in the event, as did their three children - Noah, Kenna and Owen; and Kara’s brother and nephew, Jonathon Baker and Gannon Baker.

Kara Ball

"My step son is biracial and we witnessed first hand over the years so many instances of racism thrown at him, someone even threatened to kill him in high school, simply because of his skin color. So as a family we get it, but even still, even if I didn’t have a biracial child, or any family of color, I would absolutely still march, and the reason is simple. Our silence okays the violence.

"It is time to take a stand and say that I may not be black, but I see you, I hear you, and I support you. No one should fear for their life, like people of color have to.

"I read something recently that truly spoke to me, because so often while watching a movie depicting monumental times in our history or while reading a book or story about various times of importance, times that have shaped our nation, I have often wondered how I would have handled the situation back then. What would I have done. Surely I wouldn’t have allowed something so horrific to take place in silence, right? I imagined I would have helped with the Underground Railroad, I would have stood up against the Nazis, I would have marched alongside Dr. King. If you have also ever wondered about that yourself - you’re doing it now. Let that sink in.

"So this is why I made my signs. This is why I brought my family along with me, and this is why we protested. If you are tired of hearing about racism, imagine how tired people of color are of enduring it.

"I truly appreciated the amount of support from police department who stated they agree with the protest and also demand justice for George and an end to police brutality. I was also impressed with the amount of supporters there, peacefully protesting, and truly listening to those who spoke. It was something I was so grateful to be a part of.

"I understand how quickly a peaceful protest can turn violent, by the screams and taunts of anti-protesters. Which is also something the sheriff told us, that he wasn’t worried about the protesters, but more so concerned with anti-protesters.

"I hurt for where this country stands. That a man could be laying in handcuffs completely detained and slowly murdered by the men who have sworn an oath to protect and serve. That so many stood by and watched as it happened. I pray daily for the safety of so many I care about."

Shawn Ball

"I attended the protest to stand in solidarity with every person that felt as angry as I did about the situation, which has become all to common. Hopefully we are a part of something substantial, and that will help in making change. It’s hard seeing our eldest son struggling with the reality that he doesn’t trust the people in uniform that are supposed to serve and protect him and his children."

Kenna Ball

"It was important to protest because a lot of people don’t really realize how big of a problem this is in the world and it’s important to get the word around. I have learned about different experiences that people of color have to go through and how they fight back against it.

"The passing of George Floyd has affected me very deeply. It’s so wrong that people have to go through these things just because of the color of their skin. George Floyd is just one example of the hate and torment that people of color go through."

Owen Ball

"I demonstrated because I wanted to help take a stand for others, to show them that we’re all here for them. I got to know our community better by attending. I learned a lot from the speeches and from the number of people there.

"George Floyd’s death kind of opened my eyes to what could happen to people of color. It showed me how unfair the world can be to someone who isn’t like me. There’s no reason anyone should be afraid to walk down the street or go into a store. I don’t want that for anyone."

Noah Ball

"The death of Mr. Floyd broke my heart. The video broke me. Realizing how much of that goes on every year that isn’t even talked about, how much is kept secret, how long it’s been going on. It’s ridiculous.

"I attended the demonstration because the black community can’t do this movement by themselves. Me as a person with black relatives, friends, and acquaintances, I feel it’s my job to help this movement going forward. There’s a serious issue all around America about racism, discrimination, and the abuse of minorities in general.

"The demonstration was very touching. It helped myself have more faith in humanity after seeing the amount of people pulled out of their houses for this movement in under a 48-hour span."

Jonathon Baker

"It was important for me to demonstrate because it’s not how we should live our lives, treating people differently based on race/ethnicity. It was nice to see fellow people having the same beliefs as me."