Family members of Connecticut residents killed by police officers joined with lobbyists, elected officials and grassroots activists on Saturday, gathering in cities across the state before meeting in Hartford to remember their fallen loved ones and advocate for police to be held accountable for misconduct and violence.
“Everybody has been rallying around police killings in other parts of the country, and kind of forgetting that it’s happening here,” said Joanna Iovino, executive director of Citizens Opposed to Police States, one of the groups that participated in the caravan and rally. “We want to bring awareness that it’s not just something happening across the rest of the country, it’s happening here, too.”
According to the Connecticut Post, there have been 76 inquiries into police use of deadly force or deaths in police custody since 2001. Just one cop has been charged. He was not convicted.
Activists met in cities across the state Saturday morning before coming together in Keney Park in the early afternoon. They then led a caravan through Hartford before rallying at the Capitol. Supporters of President Donald Trump also gathered in Hartford Saturday to advocate for the president to serve a second term, despite having lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden, because they believe he is the rightful winner.
Included among the demonstrators were representatives from Power Up Manchester, the People’s Coalition of Central Connecticut and Summer of Solutions. Also participating were individuals from groups demanding justice for victims of police violence, including Mubarak Soulemane, Jose Soto, Steven Barrier, Zoe Dowdell and Jayson Negron.