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Branching Out, Fort Worth Protest Leaders Work Toward A New Neighborhood Crisis Center

Miranda Suarez
Seychelle Leake said the community fundraiser was a way to bring in community members who might be afraid to join protests.

Protests over the killing of George Floyd have entered their fourth week — and in Fort Worth, some protest leaders are branching out.

At a Juneteenth barbecue on Friday, a few dozen people gathered at a park in Fort Worth's Stop Six neighborhood, with no signs or chanting.

A community group called 1Love — led by some of the same people who have been organizing Fort Worth's protests — was raising money for their proposed neighborhood crisis center.

Seychelle Leake said events like this are a way to welcome people who might be afraid to join a protest.

"So we create a community platform, or a community event, so that people can come out knowing that there is no intent to make any noise, there is no intent to shut anything down, or anything like that," she said. "You're safe, and you're in a place where you can be educated, and get to know the people that are fighting for you."

The proposed crisis center's goal would be shifting response to mental health calls away from police.

The Fort Worth City Council plans to discuss protestors' suggestions on Tuesday afternoon. 

Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Fort Worth over the past few weeks in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson and Breonna Taylor, Black Americans recently killed by police officers. 

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price released a statementon May 30, recallingthe death of Jefferson, who was shot to death while inside her Fort Worth apartment last October..

"As our nation mourns over injustice and the tragic death of George Floyd, Fort Worth is still healing from its own tragedy that took place only seven months ago," Price wrote. "For those instances that don't gain notoriety, we know the pain for black and brown families is just as raw, real and deep."

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.