Police Brutality Protest: a photo story

Natalie Tyler, photographer

Winona State University students alongside Winona area community members whose voices rung out in a recent police brutality protest this past Friday. Hosted by Winona State club, Winona State University Students for Reproductive Justice, all were welcome to attend a walk through Winona to protest police brutality and support Black lives, beginning at 5 p.m. The protest, titled BLM Stand Against Police Brutality, began on Winona State’s main campus near The Quad, one of the university dormitories, on Huff Street. Many attendees heard of the event through word of mouth, via online/social media sources and through club emails. Community members were asked to come together but to keep in mind COVID-19 guidelines, most people wearing face masks. Many held homemade signs. Signs included words in encouragement of defunding the police, a topic that has sparked major discourse across the country since George Floyd’s death in Minnesota this past summer. The recent death of Daunte Wright, a Black man from Minnesota, during the Derek Chauvin trial has only added to the tension. Attendees’ signs stated ‘the system’ is corrupt, ‘silence is violence’, ‘Black Lives Matter’, ‘How Many More?’ and further statements. (Natalie Tyler)


A Winona protestor holding a sign for Friday’s protest walk, saying ‘Skin color is not reasonable suspicion’. Various community members came together and created their own signs with various wordage against law enforcement violence against Black people. (Natalie Tyler)


Winona State University alumni Teresa Rusert and community member Mandy Johnsgaard standing outside of The Quad and Kryzsko Commons area on Winona State’s main campus. The two created and held their own signs in protest, saying ‘It is a privilege to assume the police will protect you’ and ‘Cops ≠ jury judge executioner’. Waving in the background in the upper right, a Black Lives Matter flag, which was seen at the lead of the protest walk several times throughout the event. The flag belongs to Lamaree Whitson, a transfer student at Winona State studying psychology, who has been part of several protests in Winona since last summer. (Natalie Tyler)


A Winona County Sheriff vehicle pulling out of Winona’s police station, passing the protestors on Friday. According to Sydney Dumond, a Winona State student and president of the Reproductive Justice club, more than 100 people attended the event. The two-hour long protest ended near the Huff Street location Kwik Trip. (Natalie Tyler)
A crowd walking together towards the Winona Police Station in peaceful protest of recent police brutality events, especially so in reaction to Daunte Wright’s recent death. Chants such as “defund the police” and “say his name” were shouted and no violence occurred. The group initially gathered near Huff Street at 5 p.m. and the event lasted two hours, ending near Kwik Trip on Huff Street. Some signs held said ‘Respect Black lives like you respect Black culture’, ‘You are either apart of the problem or you are apart of the solution!’, ‘No justice, no peace’, ‘The most violent element in society is ignorance’ and more. Attendees were told to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, including the wearing of face masks. (Natalie Tyler)
Lamaree Whitson during the protest against police brutality on Friday. Whitson’s sign stated ‘We stand up, you shoot… We sit down, you shoot… We speak up, you shoot… We cry for help, you shoot… We give up, you still shoot…’. Whitson is also carrying a Black Lives Matter flag, featured in other photos of the protest. Whitson will be hosting another protest march on Friday, April 23, hoping to build off of the energy and support of this past Friday’s protest. (Natalie Tyler)


A crowd gathered together in front of the Winona Police Station in peaceful protest of the recent police brutality events, specifically in regard to Daunte Wright. Chants such as “defund the police” and “say his name” were shouted and no violence occurred. The group initially met in Huff Street at 5 p.m. and the event lasted two hours, marching past Winona State University’s main campus as well. Signage includes statements such as ‘If you’re not livid you’re not listening’, ‘Color is not crime’, ‘BLM’, ‘Make America not racist for the first time’ and more. (Natalie Tyler)