Protest in Taunton ends peacefully after two police officers take a knee

TAUNTON, Mass. (WLNE) – Demonstrators packed downtown Taunton on Thursday afternoon to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police.

The protest began at First Parish Church, where more than 100 demonstrators gathered on the church’s lawn.

“All lives can’t matter until black lives matter,” said protester Aliyan Turner.

The mayor of Taunton attended the protest in support of the movement.

“I’m standing with my community,” said Mayor Shaunna O’Connell.

Protesters took a knee in silence for eight minutes and 46 seconds, which was the amount of time officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck.

“I have a four-year-old son, and when I saw the the footage of George Flyod and heard him screaming for his mom– that really hurt me. That really hit home for me because I’m afraid for my child– that my child might not make it to 18,” said protester Sheriece Bradsher.

The protest at the church ended around 6:00 p.m. Most demonstrators dispersed after that, but some marched down to the Taunton Green and continued protesting for hours.

Tensions rose later in the night as protesters yelled in police officers’ faces. However, tensions deescalated after two officers took a knee alongside protesters.

“We have to be able to stand with them and support them, because they’re suffering, they’re in pain,” said Taunton Police Chief Edward Walsh.

Categories: Massachusetts, News, Regional News