BAYONNE, NJ - In an automated phone call Mayor Jimmy Davis has asked all Bayonne residents to support their neighbors who will be leading or participating in a “peaceful event” on Sunday. The event, set to take place inside Stephen Gregg Park is set to begin at 4:00 p.m. and include participants kneeling for nine minutes to “peacefully protest the police brutality and lives that have been lost to it.”
Davis, a 28-year veteran of the Bayonne Police Department has previously said that “the killing of George Floyd should have never happened” and that the video of the man being killed by a Minneapolis police officer made him wonder “how any human being could have so little compassion for another human being.”
While some events nationwide have turned violent, protests and demonstrations held in Jersey City and Hoboken drew massive crowds and remained peaceful. Another rally was planned for Jersey City on Saturday.
“This is a time for our community to come together for reflection and an opportunity for the betterment of all,” Davis said. Speaking to social media posts indicating a march would proceed toward Bayonne City Hall Davis added that “the organizers assure us that there are no plans for a march or any activity outside the park.”
“The Bayonne Police Department has also been working with the organizers and they are partnering to ensure this event will serve to honor Mr. Floyd in a peaceful and honorable way.” If “outside people” do attempt to disrupt the event, the Bayonne Police Department is “prepared to handle them quickly,” Davis assured.
On Sunday, Board of Education Commissioner Michael Alonso asked where the looting would begin if a rally took place in Bayonne, a post that drew strong rebuke, as well as calls for his resignation, from fellow Trustees, community leaders, and the Hudson County Republican party.
In an emergency meeting of the Board of Education to discuss the matter Reverend Dorothy Patterson said that if protests and demonstrations do come to Bayonne, she had better see every trustee walking with them. If not, she concluded “you are standing somewhere against us.”
Unable to hide her emotion a teary eyed Maria Valado, the board president, closed the meeting by speaking directly to Patterson and promising to “be at the front” of any demonstration.
“It’s time to end social injustices in this country,” she said.
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