Peaceful Black Lives Matter protests across the state call out injustice following death of George Floyd

Connecticut

(WTNH) — Peaceful Black Lives Matter protests took place across the state Tuesday in response to the death of George Floyd.

Protests have been ongoing across the world since last week in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

In Connecticut, protests over the weekend in Hartford, Waterbury, and New Haven stopped traffic on major thoroughfares. In places like Minneapolis, BLM protests have turned violent: fires set to public and private property, looting, and rioting.

But Tuesday, the protests here in CT were peaceful and passionate.

RELATED: Protests in West Hartford, Hartford spark conversation around how to prevent police brutality, strengthen police-community relations

HAMDEN

At a peaceful protest in Hamden Tuesday afternoon, Hamden’s mayor as well as the police chief spoke to those gathered about how to work to put an end to police brutality, not just in Minneapolis but across the country.

What made this event unique: the conversations along the way. The messages conveyed spoke to creating a healthy dialogue around making citizens feel safe and confident in the law enforcement officers that serve them.

Protesters marched from the New Haven border, down Dixwell Avenue, and ended at the police station.

While demonstrators were angry and hurt over the loss, the message was not lost.

“America needs a cleansing. We have to be accountable and we have to deal with the truth,” one protester said addressing the crowd.

Police Chief John Capiello telling the crowd he understands their anger. “I understand where they come from. The people are very frustrated.”

The chief reiterating that any officer that oversteps his boundaries and takes a life like what we saw in the case of George Floyd should just take off their badge.

Things have to change and we try every day to make changes. We work very hard and then something happens across the country and whatever we were building on over the year goes out the window and we have to start over.

Police Chief John Capiello/ Hamden Police Department

The mayor echoing the message as a call-to-action.

Conversations, training, additional changes to our rules and regulations so if things happen, we have the ability to come down and come down swiftly with discipline and dismissal…There’s no easy words for me to say to reassure people. The only way we can do that is by our actions. Try to build trust.

Mayor Curt Leng/(D) Hamden

News 8 asked the mayor the next steps he plans to take to improve community relations with local law enforcement. He says he is in talks with police leadership on how to move forward with new and inclusive policies for policing in Hamden.

NORWICH

Hundreds gathered outside Norwich City Hall for a peaceful protest Tuesday. Many holding signs seeking justice for George Floyd and looking to rebuild the system.

They walked from Norwich City Hall to the police department shutting down roads along the way. Police who earlier in the day denounced the actions of the Minneapolis police officer charged with killing Floyd stopped traffic as they walked by.

I see what’s going on on TV and like right now I’m saying ‘this is not going to go down like we see on TV’ at least I’m hoping. Just for the justice for George Floyd, for my kids, my son, my grandson. We’ve had incidents in the past and I just think it’s time we spoke up about it peacefully.

Darlene Fonville/Uncasville

Norwich’s police chief was among the crowd gathered outside City Hall during the protest.

FAIRFIELD

Along the town green in Fairfield late Tuesday morning dozens of people took part. Many holding signs saying “Black Lives Matter,” “#JusticeforFloyd,” and “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

At some point, a handful of protesters laid down on the ground with their hands behind their backs.

Protester Mary Ellen Hagedus of Trumbull said, “To see the video of George on the ground with a police officer’s knee in his neck, him pleading ‘I can’t breathe.’ I haven’t been able to stop crying…this has got to stop. This has got to stop.”

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