Man Walks 46 Miles To Honor Life Of George Floyd
His one-man protest inspired countless others and brought communities together along the way.
Keenan Love knew he wanted to speak out about the recent death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. But Love wasn't sure exactly how to express his feelings.
So, Love left his home on the far South Side of Chicago and started walking. With only $9 in his pocket, he decided to make a 46-mile pilgrimage to honor each of the 46 years that Floyd was alive. He planned to end his journey in Kankakee, the town where he grew up, which happens to be 46 miles south of Chicago.
"I just had to find a way to not be like everybody else and protest and make a stand for (George Floyd)," Love told ABC-7.
The 29-year-old shared live video updates on social media as he walked, and soon people began meeting up with him at various stops along the way. Some folks sent him money through the Cash App, others started bringing him food and water. A few women even brought him a new pair of shoes when his wore out.
"I had walked the sole out of them," Love said about the sneakers he wore when he started his journey. "They were burning my feet and making life hell."
Love wanted to express his feelings about George Floyd's death in a non-violent way. @boss_byanymeans
The police also showed up to escort Love on his journey, with officers switching off between different departments as he crossed through each town.
When he finally made it to Kankakee, Love was struggling a bit, but he finished his journey alongside a large crowd of his friends, family and strangers.
"That was pure bliss," Love said. "That was the moment that I realized this was bigger than me."
Hundreds joined Love as he finished up his walk in his hometown of Kankakee, IL. @thekeenanlovebrand
Not only was Love honoring George Floyd's life with his walk, but he wanted to acknowledge the countless other men who have died as a result of police brutality.
Love also lost his brother, Terrell Love, who was killed last year. While Terrell's murder didn't involve police, he called it "another senseless death."
Love, who worked as a personal trainer before the coronavirus pandemic, plans to make the 46-mile pilgrimage every year and hopes to turn it into a non-profit that will bring more children's programming to his hometown of Kankakee.
While Love was exhausted when he finished his walk, he was happy that his message seemed to resonate with people.
"You work on the mind, body and soul and everything else in life will follow," he said. "That's it, that's my mantra."