HARTFORD — Demonstrators rallied in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and other Connecticut cities for a second day Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes.
Hundreds walked the streets of Hartford and gathered outside city police headquarters, shouting “no justice, no peace,” “black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.” In Bridgeport, protesters forced the closure of Route 8 by demonstrating on the highway.
The rallies followed similar demonstrations in several cities in the state Friday. There were no reports of violence or major property damage.
Floyd died Monday in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air. Protests have erupted in U.S. cities in the days since.
The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired from the police force after Floyd’s death and was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“We’re seeing people of color being just being murdered down in the streets,’ New Haven resident Remidy Shareef told WFSB-TV. “This is a tragedy. People of color and everyone with a heart and soul needs to know we cannot let this happen. Everyone has the right to leave their homes and come home safely.”
Police in Bridgeport and New Haven and state police condemned police brutality on social media on Saturday and expressed support for peaceful protests.
Four men have been killed by police on Connecticut this year, including three in January. A fifth man who lost consciousness in police custody died a natural death from heart disease, officials said. The four fatal police shootings remain under investigation.