Inside the Black Lives Matter Protest in Downtown Danbury
Today (June 30), Danbury residents, in cooperation with the City of Danbury, held a Black Lives Matter rally/protest to denounce the killing of George Floyd and demand change.
I attended the event and was overwhelmed by the sea of people -- there were seemingly thousands in attendance. It started on the steps of City Hall with multiple speakers, and then the march kicked off, ending at the Danbury Police Department headquarters. Here is some of what I captured on film:
Every bit of what I saw was peaceful, and folks were looking out for one another. The police kept their distance, while keeping the streets safe for both pedestrians and cars. I can't sit here and tell you that I agreed with every sign I saw displayed and that's OK. We don't all have to agree on everything, so long as we can agree that change is necessary.
I know 99% of the people in attendance today want the best for this city and this country. There was, however, a moment that tested this theory of mine.
At one point, a gathering of younger people started to chant "F--- the police!" There couldn't have been more than 10 people participating in it, and it was quickly shut down by the rest of the massive crowd -- not by the cops.
Here are some of the shots I took as I soaked in the scene with my family:
I can only hope that these protests bring peace and change, and that the voices are heard and the messages sent turn into action. I can only hope that when my children are grown up, we are no longer battling these same issues. It's time for all of us to unite through understanding, or we will get nowhere.
I'll leave you with a statement co-written by Danbury Police Chief Ridenhour and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
We are deeply troubled by the recent events in Minnesota. These actions are inexcusable and officers standing idly by when it happens is equally troubling and unacceptable.
We acknowledge the pain that this and all incidents of unnecessary force by police cause the nation as a whole and often communities of color in particular. We do not condone police brutality under any circumstances.
Please know that we cherish the relationship our department enjoys with the entire Danbury community. We will never take that relationship for granted and we will continue to do our best to to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all.