- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2020

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Hundreds of cars traveled from Windsor to Hartford on Wednesday in a procession led by a hearse with an empty casket — one of several demonstrations around Connecticut to honor George Floyd and protest racial injustice.

In Danbury, protesters shouted “I can’t breathe” as they marched through the city and walked onto Interstate 84, briefly shutting down traffic on the highway.

The procession in Floyd’s honor ended with a rally at the state Capitol, where speakers eulogized victims of police brutality and called for a sustained effort to address issues of poverty and discrimination.

Floyd, a black man, died after a white officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he pleaded for air and stopped moving.

“There’s a difference between a moment and movement,” state Sen. Douglas McCrory, a Democrat, told the rally in Hartford. “We need a movement. I need to see you next month. I need to see you six months from now with the same enthusiasm.”



Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, was among those in attendance at the rally, which was organized by the YWCA Hartford Region and other groups.

“As George Floyd took his very last breath and said ‘Mama I can’t breathe,’ he didn’t know that it would take him laying in a box dead before a nation called his name and cried out for transformation,” Melinda Johnson of the YWCA said.

Since Floyd’s death last week, people have turned out for overwhelmingly nonviolent demonstrations in cities and towns across Connecticut.

On Wednesday, demonstrations also were being held elsewhere including New Haven, where Police Chief Otoniel Reyes sat on the steps outside the department’s headquarters and spoke with demonstrators. Reyes and other officers took a knee with protesters in a sign of solidarity.

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