MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It has been two months since thousands filled Twin Cities streets to demand change.
WCCO’s Mike Max reunited with a protester Patrick Etim, who shares a message of hope, and the work that still needs to be done.
It was an historic day in a historic week, when 150 protesters were arrested outside of Bobby & Steve’s Auto World on the edge of downtown Minneapolis on May 31 — six days after George Floyd’s death.
Two months later, Etim has had time to think about what was.
“We all came together as humans … we didn’t see race, we didn’t see color, we didn’t see our own differences,” Etim said. “This is a humanitarian issue.”
Max asked Etim this simple question on May 31, and he asked it again two months later: Was it all worth it?
“Absolutely, it was worth it,” Etim said. “I didn’t realize how big our message was going to spread. I’m so grateful to God that we can all come together.”
The product of Andover High School still works two jobs, and as he walks around East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue — the site of the George Floyd Memorial — he is still committed. Much of that came from the night of his arrest, and there are moments that changed many minds, like the arresting officer bonding with him after a day of protesting.
“At the end of the day we’re human. He’s got a family, he’s got friends. I got a family, I’ve got friends. At the end of the day we just want to go home to the people we love,” Etim said during his May 31 interview with Max.
In a much quieter setting, Etim is reflective, not just of what was but about going forward, about not forgetting.
“We’re in a new age of understanding that our future generations are going to be filled with leaders who are empathetic towards the plights of other races … that racial intolerance isn’t acceptable,” Etim said.
And he thinks it will not just because of what happened, but how it happened.
“You didn’t just kill [Floyd], you took his life, you cut off his claim to life, his oxygen while he begged, he called for his mom, and that’s what made me glad everyone answered the call to action,” Etim said.
His life changed on the night he was arrested for the better, because he believes in the cause.
“We can all stand together when we put our fists up,” Etim said.