Hundreds rallied in Hartford Friday to speak out about the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white officer knelt on his neck.
A video that showed Floyd begging for air as a police officer was seen kneeling on his neck has sparked outrage and protests across the country. Some have turned violent, leading to looting and fires in Minnesota's Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. That officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
In Hartford on the north side of the Capitol, hundreds gathered for an "I Can't Breathe" rally.
"I can't breathe," is what Floyd said over and over again before he was killed.
People at the rally brought signs, chanted, and heard several speakers, including lawmakers and community activities who have spoken about the need for equality and justice.
Organizers said the rally was not aimed at any specific group in our state.
Attendees said the video released from Minneapolis of Floyd's death left them feeling heartsick and outraged.
They said they hope this sparks real change, and that they felt a need to make a stand and join together against systematic racism.
"We have to be in this together for our own survival. just as this pandemic has united us in our vulnerability this outrage needs to unite us in strength," Rep. Christine Palm said (D).
Organizers placed markers on the ground to help people stay socially distanced during the peaceful protest. The majority of people who attended wore masks.
Speakers told the crowd it's important to keep showing up and taking a stand.