HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — An Alabama man completed a 1,000-mile protest walk Sunday to the site where George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
Terry Willis left Fade Factory in Huntsville, Alabama on June 2 and started walking toward the site were Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against the handcuffed man’s neck for nearly eight minutes.
Willis said the “1K Mile March” was a quest for change, justice and equality.
“I thought of the most extreme thing that would get the most attention silently,” Willis said.
Willis said he couldn’t stand idle after watching the video of Floyd’s death, so he decided to walk to Minneapolis, pay tribute to his memory and try to bring people together.
“I could’ve been George Floyd. I’ve been arrested over 100 times. I’ve been tased. I could’ve been George Floyd,” Willis said.
Willis said envisioning the life he wants for his 7-year-old son was a driving force to keep him moving and ultimately led him to the finish line on Sunday.
“As far as my younger kids, I want them to understand and believe that they can do anything they want to do,” he said.
During his thousand-mile march, Willis stopped to pay his respects to Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and others who have lost their lives at the hands of police.
Willis said the goal is simple: equality for all. “(Officers shouldn’t) approach the black man more aggressively because of his skin color,” Willis said.
Willis finished his cross-country trek at the George Floyd Memorial at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis where Floyd took his last breath.
He said it’s not the destination, it’s the journey, and hopefully, this is the beginning of change.
Willis plans to fly back home to Huntsville Monday. He said the next step in his journey is to start a nonprofit to teach teens and ex-convicts trade skills free of charge so they can have a better future.