Man fears being out alone after death of George Floyd; neighbors join him in walking outside
An African American man who voiced his fear of walking alone in his neighborhood found support from his community in Nashville, Tennessee.
Shawn Dromgoole aired concerns for his safety on the app Nextdoor, a social networking service for neighbors, WZTV reported yesterday, May 30.
“My family has lived in this neighborhood on the corner of ninth and Knox for 54 years and I’m afraid to walk. Yesterday I wanted to walk around my neighborhood but the fear of not returning home to my family alive kept me on my front porch,” he wrote on the app Wednesday, May 27.
“Today I wanted to walk again and I could not make it off the porch. Then I called my mother Lynetra and she said she would walk with me. I still kept my ID on me and my phone in my hand but I walked. #Icantbreath #icantsleep #icantwalk”
His post comes days after a black man, George Floyd, died while being arrested outside a grocery store in Minneapolis. Videos of the arrest show that a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd’s neck so that he was pinned to the ground. Floyd repeatedly stated “I can’t breathe.”
Another incident that alarmed Dromgoole was the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was shot while jogging in a neighborhood after being confronted by a white father and son.
Dromgoole’s neighbors gathered on Thursday night to walk with him around the area. Some even brought their pets, as seen in his Instagram post yesterday. About 75 people showed solidarity with him, as per WZTV.
“I was afraid to walk by myself in my childhood neighborhood, because I was afraid I wouldn’t live to see another day. When I shared this fear with my neighbors they said we will walk with you. This is only the beginning!!!!” he wrote.
“Thank you for walking with me and making me feel human and heard. Your support at this time has meant the world to me,” he said in an Instagram post today, May 31. “However, you haven’t just impacted me, you have also impacted others who look like me, talk like me, and feel like me. You’ve impacted the world!”
He and his neighbors are scheduling another walk this Thursday with his home as the starting point.
Meanwhile, the past days have seen protests held across the United States against Floyd’s death. Niña V. Guno/JB
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