A huge crowd turned out to hear Terrence Floyd and elected officials speak at a packed memorial to George Floyd today in Downtown Brooklyn at Cadman Plaza Park. As many as 10,000 people attended, according to some estimates — the vast majority wearing masks.
Boisterous shouts calling for justice rang through the plaza as the group waited for the program to begin. The audience waited almost an hour after the scheduled start time of 1 p.m. for speakers to take the stage, but near the barriers at the front the crowd was peaceful as volunteers handed out water, masks and gloves, and attendees chanted “George Floyd.”
It was not quite as peaceful when Mayor de Blasio attempted to speak after initial remarks from Chirlane McCray. He was booed. Organizers reminded the assembled crowd, and speakers, that the event was focused on George Floyd and not about politics.
Jumaane Williams, Yvette Clark, Hakeem Jeffries, Letitia James and other politicos drew applause, but most in the crowd were waiting to hear from Terrence Floyd. The crowd shouted words of support when he seemed to need more time after approaching the microphone. “I’m proud of the protest,” he told the crowd, “but I’m not proud of the destruction.” He thanked the people of the boroughs where he has lived, Brooklyn and Queens, and ultimately all five boroughs as the assembled group cheered.
The afternoon ended with prayer and a request for a peaceful march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Protesters grabbed their signs and headed toward it.
[Photos by Susan De Vries]
- Brooklyn Coronavirus Update and Open Thread: Deaths, Fireworks, George Floyd Memorial (6/4/20)
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- How Brooklynites Fought for Equality Is Documented in the Civil Rights Collection at BPL
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