Gathering in Memory
More than 40 people gathered Wednesday in Falmouth to kneel for nine minutes and 29 seconds of silence. The vigil on the Falmouth Village Green honored George Floyd, the Black man killed by a white police officer last May in Minneapolis.
This week a jury convicted Derek Chauvin of murder. Prosecutors in the case say that Chauvin kneeled on the neck of Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds, even longer than was originally reported.
Paula Johnson of Falmouth was at the Falmouth vigil, and said the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck has forever changed the conversation about racism.
“Unfortunately now, we’re going to have to have visual accounts, not just body cameras,” said Johnson. “Anytime we see something, people will have to do their due diligence and videotape it. That videotape changed the world. They could not lie about it.”
The group Racial Justice Falmouth organized the vigil.
Charles D. Evans of Falmouth, who also attended, said the verdict was only a step toward justice for people of color.
“This verdict is just a drop in the ocean,” said Evans. “The main thing is, we have to tear down that Blue Wall. But I think with the police department testifying against [Chauvin]—a lot of them came forward—I think that’s the first step to, hopefully, tearing down that Blue Wall.”
Since the verdict was announced Tuesday, the federal Justice Department has said it will investigate misconduct within the Minneapolis police department.
Paul Glass of Falmouth also attended the vigil. He said he’s hopeful for reform, but he believes there’s a long way to go.
“Poor policing is not over,” Glass said. “It’s systemic. It’s woven into the fabric of the blue uniform and it needs to be routed out. This is just the beginning.”
President Biden is demanding that Congress address misconduct within policing.