MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Several hundred protesters gathered Monday on the Milford Town Green to make their demands for police reform heard in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
People young and old, black and white met on the green but it wasn’t a protest unlike others; it went from chants to a conversation. A conversation surrounding police reform in Connecticut.
It came after House and Senate Democrats announced police and justice reform legislation in Washington, D.C. as protests over the death of Floyd compelled change across the country.
The demonstrators in Milford wanted to take it a step further. They said they want to defund local police departments and put the local money back into the communities.
News 8 spoke with the police chief for Milford who said this is a defining moment.
“There’s young boys and girls that are watching TV and this is never going to be erased from their memory, and you wonder how they’re going to look at law enforcement especially when you look at boys and girls of color and people of color in general that bring to the equation of so many years of living in a society within unjust systems,” said Chief Keith Mello.
Others said it goes beyond a defining moment; it calls for action.
“I believe the system is not just,” said Orlando Daniel, of Milford. “I don’t believe it was built for people of brown and black skin. I do believe that it was built oppress…Pay attention, you see what’s going on, you see what people feel about it. It’s not the first time it’s come across or the first time that this has happened, so pay attention, and do what you can to change.”
Parents with children in town said they want to be on the side of history that creates a better country for their kids.
Jason Emery of Milford explained what he wants is, “just opportunity for them and also be able to go around and be who they are or not get a dirty look…I just would hope that these incidents would bring some type of change.”
There will be another demonstration scheduled for this Thursday in Rocky Hill on the Town Green.