George Floyd

Waterbury Protesters and Police Chief Speak Out After 28 Arrested

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Waterbury police said they arrested 28 people during the protest that took place Sunday afternoon. On Monday, protesters and police officials spoke about the demonstration.

Of the 28 protesters arrested, 18 were women, eight were men and two were juveniles, according to police.

The protest was organized to bring awareness to police brutality, civil rights, and a request for charges against the four officers who took part in arresting 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Demonstrators started their peaceful protest on the Green in Waterbury and successfully marched to the city hall without any issues.

Protestors changed course and headed to the Waterbury Police Department calling an end to police brutality.

In Waterbury, a protest was put together by the Black Lives Matter Movement on Sunday.

Kayla McQuiller is one of the demonstrators who took part in the protest on Sunday. McQuiller told NBC Connecticut that she didn't enjoy watching the video.

"I've had a lot of anger and it was disappointing," said McQuiller. "It is ridiculous that even in 2020 there's a bunch of racist people who won't accept the fact that colors need to come together in order for change to work."

McQuiller along with other protesters told NBC Connecticut that they want to see changes when it comes to police departments' response to protesters.

"When it comes to people protesting, the police shouldn't have weapons to intimidate us," said Mcquiller.

According to Waterbury Police, officers received word about potential activity by another group that may have not been a part of the protest.

"We started to get information and intelligence that there may be a group that was not a part of the protesters who blocked off roads and impeded on traffic," said Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

According to Waterbury Police, several warnings were issued to a group of people before they were taken into custody.

"We asked them to either head back to the green and continue to peaceful protest or at least get on the sidewalks," said Spagnolo. "About 30 minutes went by and we continued to try and negotiate with the group of people but we couldn't come to a solution."

No demonstrators were hurt and no public or private property was damaged. There was at least one officer who suffered an injury to the hand.

The chief said he is committed to giving protestors the space to express their concerns and doesn't want the social issues to get lost by those not a part of the demonstrations.

"These peaceful protesters had a goal in mind to get the word out about solidarity, being against police brutality, and systematic racism that's occurring in this country," he said.

The Police Department said they are working to build bridges with the community in order to bring about change.

"It's all about relationships and I have been working with my community from every cultural and every race to see how we can change the systems in place to be more inclusive and make sure everyone is treated fairly," Spagnolo said.

The chief also condemned the actions taken by former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin.

"This was murder as far as I'm concerned," said Spagnolo. "It's disheartening and his actions really were a disservice for the entire county not just the police service but to every American."

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