HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a somber morning in Hartford as a mock funeral procession was held for George Floyd.
The procession, led by a hearse carrying an empty casket, shut down roads from Windsor Street to the State Capitol.
Young and old, black and white, showed up to pay homage to another black life senselessly cut short.
“America is really starting to see the destruction that happens on a daily basis within and to the black community,” one man told News 8.
The group chanted “black lives matter” as they followed the hearse to Hopewell Baptist Chruch.
Hundreds of cars filed into the parking lot, hoping to use their shattered hearts to honor Floyd.
“We want our people to have justice for what has happened to them because we don’t want any more lives being lost,” said Khamari Thornton, a Temple University student.
The empty casket was laid to rest for the state to bear witness to the injustices endured for decades. Tears flowed as the community united, saying enough is enough.
“George Floyd took his very last and said, ‘Mama, I can’t breathe,'” Melinda Johnson, YWCA Hartford said, tears streaming down her face. “He didn’t know that it would take him lying in box dead before a nation called his name and cried out for transformation. We don’t stand here together for play play. We didn’t process because it’s pretty. We didn’t lay the funeral flowers because it’s beautiful. We stand here because we have too many mothers, too many daughters, too many sons, too many friends, too many lovers lying in boxes dead when they should’ve been in their houses, taking care of their children when they could’ve been standing with us.”
The crowd cheered and encouraged Johnson to “speak the truth” as she wept and called for change among our broken nation. For people of color to not live in fear.
Others joined her, saying people of color have a right to be angry and hurt.
“Young people, you have a right to be angry,” said Senator Douglas McCrory. “You have a right to protest. You have a right to be upset because we have systems in place that need to be disrupted. So, as you protest and as you cry out, you make sure you get to that ballot box.”
News 8 anchors Ann Nyberg and Darren Kramer spoke with Shaynah Ferreira after the funeral procession about how she felt covering the story as a woman of color.
Ferreira said it was an emotional day but said, “It’s beautiful because we’re finally watching America call a spade a spade.”
You can watch their full interview below: