(NEW YORK/CBSNewYork) – For days, people have been gathering to protest the death of George Floyd. But, looting and other forms of violence have, at times, overshadowed the efforts of peaceful protesters.

CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke with organizers and church groups who said they want to make their voices heard through song and prayer.

“We’re just here to spread the love, spread that there’s hope and there are people here that want unity,” said Krystle Santana.

Photos: Looting And Its Aftermath In NYC

“We’re so powerful when we work together,” said Pastor Denise Greco of Kingsgate Church.

Protest organizers said a spiritual message and sense of community are important to keeping the peace.

On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said criminals are exploiting the movement.

In Yonkers, protesters said those who turn to violence stain their peaceful calls for justice.

“I feel like they shouldn’t use protesting as a means of rioting,” said Maddie Cheatham-Walker. “That’s not what this is for.”

Protest organizers also said they hope to develop a partnership between Yonkers Police and the community that involves implicit bias training and cultural diversity workshops.


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