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Indianapolis woman says visit to George Floyd Square 'surreal,' 'liberating'

Andrea Neely visited the site in Minneapolis where George Floyd was murdered and shared why she felt the impact was felt in Indianapolis and across the nation.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis resident Andrea Neely made it a point to visit George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year. She wanted to see the memorial in person after seeing it for months on television. 

"To walk into the center of where the square was...surreal," she said.

Neely took a photo with a fist in the air during her visit to George Floyd Square. She experienced every emotion possible during her time there. She made it a point to get up close and personal to each part of the memorial. 

"That was liberating, because you also saw the hope, and the empathy but you also so the anger and the reality," said Neely.

On the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday, Neely recalled the impact his death had on cities across the country, including Indianapolis. 

She believes the downtown protests sparked nationwide attention about justice. She kept tabs on her daughter who attended one of the Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Indianapolis because she knew it could turn chaotic due to agitators. 

But Neely also acknowledges much of the protests stemmed from the injustices many people of color in her community had been experiencing for years. 

"I think the Indianapolis community showed its heart about what they did not want to continue," she said.

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Out of Andrea's four children are two young Black teenage males. Floyd's murder is often a serious topic of conversation for the entire family. They have even included her sons' friends and young relatives in on the chats, too. 

But for Neely, talk just isn't enough. As a high-ranking official for the United Negro College Fund in Indianapolis, she is more of a doer.

"I want to be, like, 'What's the movement?'" she said. "What can we do? How can we advocate? what can we do to help?"

Although one of her sons is at Purdue University and the other Princeton, their mother admits she still worries about their encounters with law enforcement.

"When it comes to the color of your skin, it doesn't matter. If you catch a cop on a bad day, the wrong kind of cop, I should say, you can have situations that occur like George Floyd," she said.

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Neely shared even more takeaways from her George Floyd Square visit, including how the unfortunate video of his murder a year ago started a worldwide movement even among those divided. 

"At the same time, you see the hope of people coming together and it's not just African Americans, it's everyone saw what was wrong," said Neely.