- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2020

Here is a look at developments related to ongoing protests throughout New England against police brutality following the May 25 death of George Floyd:

MASSACHUSETTS

A motorcade traveled to a church for a memorial service Sunday for an African American man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer put his knee on the man’s neck for minutes while he was handcuffed on the ground.

Hearses bore the names of George Floyd, of Minneapolis, along with Breonna Taylor, shot to death by police in her home in Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed jogger who was chased down and killed in Georgia.

The service at the Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain gave Boston the opportunity “to grieve the loss of these American citizens and to participate in the national outcry against black lives killed by police brutality and acts of white supremacy,” said The Rev. Miniard Culpepper, from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Dorchester.



Meanwhile, a university campus that was the site of a weekend demonstration against police treatment of black people announced it will no longer be used as a staging ground for the Massachusetts State Police.

UMass Boston ended a long-running tradition of letting state police use the campus for events such as the Boston Marathon, the women’s march and sports team victory parades.

Interim Chancellor Katherine Newman said she understands that Boston Police Superintendent William Gross and other local law enforcement officials have expressed outrage over Floyd’s death.

“Nonetheless, for people who have historically, systematically, and even routinely been victims of police misconduct, the presence of such an intimidating display of police power is unnerving,” she wrote.

RHODE ISLAND

Large demonstrations in Rhode Island continued to be peaceful this weekend.

More than 1,000 people marched Saturday to Independence Park in Bristol, where there was complete silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds - symbolic for the amount of time that a white police officer placed his knee on Floyd’s neck - while protesters took a knee.

Several thousand people also gathered Saturday in downtown Newport after marching from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

The events happened a day after at least 10,000 people gathered at the State House in Providence.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Legislation aimed at holding police officers accountable may gain momentum in New Hampshire because of recent police killings and nationwide protests.

New Hampshire lawmakers filed several bills related to police misconduct months ago, but they have yet to take final action on them as their work has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Two similar bills would require officers to report misconduct by other officers to the state Police Standards and Training Commission, which oversees the certification of police officers. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said Friday he supports the measures.

“Unfortunately, as we saw with the murder of George Floyd, you had other officers standing there watching and that’s not acceptable in any way,” he said. “We have to make sure there’s accountability within their system.”

MAINE

A student-led demonstration against police abuse started in Maine and crossed a bridge to finish in New Hampshire.

Current and former Traip Academy students organized and led the March for Justice that started in Kittery, Maine, then crossed Memorial Bridge and ended in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“This is long overdue. There has been systemic racism in this country for a long time and now it is something white American has to reckon with. I hope this impacts positive change,” said Anna Bruning, of Kittery, who provided free water and granola bars to the protesters.

___

VERMONT

Vermont Republican Party Chairman Deb Billado issued a statement about comments that her African American daughter made about protesters that were racially insensitive.

Billado said her daughter’s comments on social media were “wrong and unfortunate,” and added that she doesn’t speak for the GOP.

“It is very important in America that we behave in a manner where everyone is treated with respect and we need to be very careful that our words reflect that respect,” she wrote.

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