BOSTON (WHDH) - Thousands of protesters held a “die-in” in Boston to protest the death of George Floyd and other African-Americans, before marching through the streets to hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday.
The die-in and march at Franklin Park Road, organized by the groups Black Lives Matter Boston and Violence In Boston, were held to protest Floyd’s death after Minneapolis police officers knelt on his neck last week. Floyd was on the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time scheduled for the die-in.
Protesters then began to march up Blue Hill Avenue to Shattuck Hospital for a candlelight vigil. Organizers said they hired security to walk with the crowd to prevent violence that has taken place at other protests.
“Despite what color you are, despite what age you are it doesn’t matter what religion, what faith, we are all in this together,” one marcher said. “We have got to come together to fight police brutality.”
Speakers marked the occasion outside the hospital followed by a moment of silence and a candlelight vigil.
Organizers said they are pushing for police reform and laws to change, including a federal ban on chokeholds.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey took part in the demonstration.
“I think we’ve got to confront this on all fronts beginning right now though with standing in solidarity and support for this movement which is a peaceful movement for justice and to bring about equity in our society,” she said.
Around 7:20 p.m. a large group of protesters began surrounding a police cruiser on Jewish War Vets Drive.
Police urged those protesters to vacate the area immediately and while the situation was tense but remained calm.
Demonstrators said that spreading their message peacefully was of the utmost importance.
“What is beautiful about this scene is that it was peaceful,” Reverand Ricky Grant said. “As we marched it was peaceful, as we laid down in the street on Blue Hill Avenue it was peaceful. So that is what this is about. We want to bring attention to inequity and injustice but we don’t want violence. We want peace. We want change.”
(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)