Protests continue in Central Islip, Commack; police seek information in alleged Smithtown incident
More than a half-dozen protests were held across Long Island Wednesday, including a rally in front of the West Islip Library and in Commack.
Protesters continued to express outage at police brutality deaths and demand justice and reform for George Floyd. More than 500 people marched from the courthouse in Central Islip to the Carleton Avenue Bridge over Sunrise Highway.
At the bridge, the group knelt for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on Floyd's neck.
"People who have been harmed by police and the system will have justice because there is no peace without no justice," says Jordan Friedberg, of Commack.
Though Wednesday's events didn't draw as big of crowds as were seen in Smithtown over the past few days, they say they're going to continue to raise their voices to fight for change in attitudes and policies.
"Because this is something the black community is always dealing with so I think it's that they know that we're here for them, and we want things to change for them," says Giana Pellegrino, of Dix Hills.
Police say the protests have remained largely peaceful, but in Smithtown over the weekend a Black Lives Matter demonstration drew counter-protesters and tempers flared.
Authorities say they're investigating reports of two men being struck during a fight at the protest. Investigators are asking witnesses to the incident to call police at at 1-800-220-TIPS.