MONTCLAIR, NJ - More than 100 people gathered in Glen Ridge Sunday to peacefully protest the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis kept his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes.
Speakers took the podium to express frustration and call for unity.
For nearly 45 minutes, the group assembled, with some Montclair residents in attendance. At the conclusion of the 45-minute event, Protesters moved their assembly to a lawn on Ridgewood Avenue in Glen Ridge and held up signs to cars that passed. Since Montclair had no protests taking place, many Montclair residents walked and drove down to join the Glen Ridge demonstration.
On Friday, Governor Phil Murphy spoke on Floyd's death during his daily COVID-19 briefing, saying, "George Floyd should be alive today – not just as a matter of principle or justice, but as a matter of human dignity. Too many times we’ve gotten a national wake-up call and done nothing," he posted on Twitter. "Justice for George means acknowledging our nation’s centuries-old stain of racism."
"We need to dig a deeper well of accountability and responsibility, and we need to draw from it," Murphy said during the press conference. "Not just in Minneapolis but everywhere, including right here."
"We can lead this effort, in fact, in New Jersey. We have passed laws to ensure accountability, and I see Attorney General Gurbir Grewal's Excellence in Policing Initiative as how we will stay a leader and a model for smart policies that lead to safer communities, stronger trust and a better future," the governor added.
This weekend, communities across the state of New Jersey saw gatherings and marches for George Floyd taking place in Camden, Atlantic City, Westfield, Franklin Township, South Orange and Newark, among many other smaller gatherings across the state. The largest protest, with thousands in attendance, was held in Newark. All protests were peaceful with police officers joining in the march with protesters in Camden, except for Atlantic City. On Sunday evening, looting and disruption had begun as the sun set. IN Newark, when residents caught wind of outside agitators attempting to destroy property, residents sprung into action to stop it.
Some Newark residents even stayed outside to 'stand-guard' in the community until after 11:30pm, until the demonstrators went home.
As people poured out of the Glen Ridge park Sunday, speeches of unity from Killer Mike in Atlanta, played over the loud speaker.