Motivated to take action, Columbus protesters share why they attend


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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ahmed Abdullahi came to Columbus to get away from a civil war in Somalia.

“I wanted to survive for my life,” Abdullahi says. “Now here…I have to see people surviving for their life, gasping for air.”

Abdullahi is referring to the video of George Floyd pinned to the ground and with the knee of a Minneapolis police officer on top of his neck.

Abdullahi joined protesters at the Statehouse Monday. It was his third day of protesting.

“I love this country and because I want to build a better life for my son, that’s what I came for,” he said.

For Heather Johnson, the racism and incidents of police brutality have gone on too long.

“I’m tired of it,” Johnson said. “I’m tired of seeing it. I’m tired of it being ok I just want a change in that.”

Johnson says she too attends the protests for her children. She says her oldest, 13-year-old Elyjah, is scared.

“My son is a gifted and talented student, but at the end of the day he’s a black boy and thats what he’s looked at as,” Johnson said. “I do it for my sons. They matter, they’re important. I would hate for my son to be under the knee of a cop or behind the gun of a cop.”

Johnson and Abdullahi are among hundreds of protesters who have gathered each of the past five days to march and chant. They want an end to police brutality and they want their voices to be heard.

“I believe there is a change coming,” Johnson said. “I’ve talked to Columbus police officers, judges, attorneys, activists and we all have hope there’s going to be a better day in Columbus.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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