Springfield residents, city officials attend vigil to honor George Floyd

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Springfield came together on the steps of Springfield City Hall in response to nationwide unrest after the death of George Floyd.

The peaceful event was led by a number of religious leaders from all different faiths.

Well over a hundred people showed up to support the black lives matter movement. Although this is different than the protests happening all over the country, one person said it’s still a way to come together to support one another.

Karlos Reyes, a Springfield resident told 22News, “It is time to transition and also to remember and honor as well. It’s a different form of protest but regardless, we’re all united and it brings us together and it’s about time.”

Pastors, priests, and rabbi’s from all over the area came together to promote prayer and peace.

Pastor Constant Cooley one of the vigil’s organizers said, “What happened is horrific but what we are doing is more horrific. We are destroying everything that we need and then in a sense destroying each other and our future.”

The vigil was attended by many city and state officials as well as hundreds of residents who all expressed to the community that they want change too.

“Here’s an opportunity” said Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. “We are both on the same page here. We both agree. Let’s fight for change, let’s get out in front of these things.”

Congressman Richard Neal released a statement after attending the prayer vigil at Springfield City Hall with Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, and various religious and faith leaders:

Millions of people across the country are marching and raising their voices for justice, peace, and change. Tonight, I joined Mayor Sarno, Police Commissioner Clapprood, and leaders of the faith community for a prayer vigil on the steps of Springfield City Hall. I am proud to stand with my community, and I am thankful for the peaceful protesters who joined us in solidarity and healing.

It is not enough for public officials to simply acknowledge the lives that have been lost to excessive police force. We must say it plainly: This killing of George Floyd was not an isolated incident. We must acknowledge the root cause and act.

Historically American presidents have seized unrest and turned that into a national motivator for good. This President, however, has failed at every turn. In Congress, we will do better for the voices this President ignores and persecutes. The upheaval we are experiencing is distressing, but so is the persistent ache communities of color have felt for generations in an America that treats them fundamentally differently from their white peers.

As my dear friend and colleague Congressman John Lewis said just yesterday, ‘Rioting, looting, and burning is not the way. Organize. Demonstrate. Sit-in. Stand-up. Vote. Be constructive, not destructive. History has proven time and again that non-violent, peaceful protest is the way to achieve the justice and equality that we all deserve.’

Our country right now is in mourning. Folks want to be heard and seen – and more importantly, they want the systemic disparities and injustices that exist in American to be fixed. We must do better, and I’m hopeful that as a society we will. As Dr. King reminded us many years ago, ‘The arch of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.’

Congressman Richard E. Neal

People of all races and religious beliefs came together for the peaceful prayer vigil to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Although different than the protests happening all over the country, one person said it’s still a way to come together to support one another.

“It is time to transition and also remember and honor as well,” said Karlos Reyes of Springfield. It’s a different form of protest but regardless of what we are all united and it brings us together and it’s about time.

Pastors, priests, and Rabbi’s from all over the area came together to promote prayer and peace.

“What happened is horrific,” said Pastor Constant Cooley, organizer of the event. “But what we are doing is more horrific, we are destroying everything that we need and then in a sense destroying everything that we need and then in a sense destroying each other and our future.

Another protest will take place in Springfield Wednesday to promote Black Lives Matter.

It will start at Central High School, continue down State Street and end at the police headquarters. Organizers say it will be peaceful.

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