Weehawken — Members of the community gathered on Tuesday evening to honor George Floyd and display hope in an hour-long silent vigil.
Starting at the Weehawken World War I Memorial, protestors stood in silence while keeping six-feet apart along the sidewalk as some kneeled and others held their signs reading, “Black Lives Matter.” They were cheered on by passing drivers who raised their fists and honked their horns in solidarity.
“We all need to come together in this time and really focus on the real issue which is black lives matter and not be wrongfully murdered on the street,” said Quanda Wiggins, a West New York resident.
Floyd, 46, died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes after an arrest made last week. His death has started a worldwide protest to stop police brutality in the U.S. and demand a “narrative” where black lives matter.
“[It’s] not about people looting and stealing material things,” said Wiggins. “That can always be replaced… what’s really important is that black lives matter.”
NJ Congressman, Albio Sires and Weehawken Mayor, Richard F. Turner were among some politicians at the vigil.
In a tweet, the Congressman stated, “We come together in mourning and with a desire for a better future.”
Eric Hartl joined the public demonstration after being appalled at the constant discrimination and killings of black people. He stood hoping to bring awareness about the racial injustice happening around the country.
“[We need to] raise awareness of every injustice that is occurring and to rectify it and do what we can in order to elevate the voices of the oppressed and put them in a position where they can live their lives in safety,” said Hartl.
For Wiggins, she hopes this “safety” will be possible one day.
“I want to be treated equally,” she said. “I want to be able to walk down the street and not be afraid that I’m going to be killed.”