EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) —- Small groups gathered around the City of Easthampton in memory of those who lost their lives to violence. It was also a peaceful protest for the killing of George Floyd.
22News spoke with Isadora of Easthampton, who came out to show support. They told us the observance felt like a step in the right direction.
“Easthampton as a community is very white,” said Isadora. “I think it’s important we speak up for this kind of thing–and take action. I think this is a really good way of doing that.”
Many people wore masks and held signs that said black lives matter–and calling for the end of brutality. Some held their fists in the air as people knelt in silence across the street. For nearly 9 minutes they knelt to reflect the time an officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck.
Cele of Easthampton said this movement cannot be forgotten and hopes that people will keep spreading the message.
“Parents raising their kids shouldn’t have to be worried if their kids will come back just because of their skin tone,” said Cele. “I think because I am white I should use my white privilege to spread the message as best as I can.”
Mayor Nicole LaChapelle of Easthampton and Police Chief Robert Alberti said in a statement to 22News:
We must work harder to live these words in our roles. We need to listen to
people who know the ugliness of racism and discrimination too well. We need to use what power
we have to publicly call out and counter the systemic hate and violence that threatens our
Lachapelle and the Easthampton police department organized the observance—and are in a joint effort to self-examine Easthampton government and hold people accountable for their actions. The Easthampton Congregational Church also honored the lost lives by ringing its bells during the observance.