Protest peaceful at county courthouse

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With the Wood County courthouse in the background, several Monday morning protesters lined the corner at South Main and Hwy. 154 in Quitman. 

Kimberly Bohannon of Quitman led a group of 20 people, which grew throughout the morning, with signs calling for peace and God’s love in the face of the chaos facing America today. There had been no opposition to the protesters. Those gathered were greeted with honks and encouraging words from folks passing by in their vehicles.

“I feel some people may have looked at me in a different light, as in my skin because of everything going on related to the chaos and destruction and the looting and the rioting,” Bohannon said, “I walked into the store after Sunday at church and I felt like I was kind of condemned just for being here just for having different skin. I’m not a villain. I didn’t throw any stones. I didn’t do any of that. I understand the anger and I understand the frustration. I wanted to find a simple message about people coming together. God is love. God’s love conquers all. I’m hoping this being the Bible Belt, I could bring people together.”

Melinda Melinda Hornsby of Mineola attended the event.

“I felt helpless at home and I wanted to just lend my voice of peace to the protest. I believe prayer and love will win,” Hornsby noted.

Wood County Sheriff Tom Castloo spoke to Bohannon and the group.

“Differences scare people whereas differences should be embraced,” he said. “My wife and I have been fortunate to have been all over the country. We have been north, south, east and west and I have run into literally every group of people there is and it’s fun to sit down and get to know people. People need to stand up for what is right. We are all human and God loves us all. As sheriff the first thing you do is make sure people’s rights are guaranteed and they are able to practice those rights guaranteed by the Constitution. This is their right.” 

Bohannon said she wants to be in the community. “My children are fourth generation here. I don’t want people to recoil just because I’m black. We are all God’s children. We are all human.”

The protest lasted about two hours and remained peaceful throughout.