SOMERVILLE, NJ - About 500 Black Lives Matter protestors gathered on the lawn of the Historic Somerset County Courthouse Friday afternoon for a peaceful demonstration against police brutality and for social justice.
As they have the past two weeks, the crowd hoisted their protest signs, heard inspiring messages and came together to chant "Black Lives Matter" phrases before heading out on North and South Bridge Streets, extending their protest march to Route 206 and Routed 22, where borough police, along with Hillsborough and Bridgewater police had set up road cones and barriers to divert traffic.
Friday's demonstration, organized by Dameon Stackhouse, was the seventh held at the courthouse since June 5, all stemming from the death of George Floyd while in police custody following his arrest on suspicion of passing counterfeit money.
After being handcuffed, he was on the ground alongside a police SUV, with a police officer kneeling against his neck until Floyd suffocated. Four police officers involved in the incident were fired the next day; one faces second degree murder charges, the other three face aiding and abetting charges.
The incident has triggered thousands of protests nationwide, with riots and looting causing billions in damages in most major US cities.