Megan Burney

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Local officials, Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Senator Julia Salazar, Councilman Antonio Reyonos and and Brooklyn Community Board 4 hosted a vigil in Maria Hernandez park Wednesday evening in the name of Black Lives Matter.

Protests throughout the city continue Today, June 5, 2020.  See this guide on how to stay safe while protesting and other ways you can contribute to the cause.

Crowds gather in Maria Hernandez Park on June 3, 2020.  Photo by Megan Burney
Vigil attendees tout signs calling for police reform in Maria Hernandez Park on June 3, 2020.

Bushwick residents and community members gathered for a peaceful gathering in solidarity with the ongoing protests against police brutality.  Reporter Megan Burney was at the scene.  Listen here to what our officials had to say about the movement.  Full transcript below.

Community Board 4 Chairperson Robert Camacho addresses the crowd at Maria Hernandez Park on June 3, 2020.  Photo by Megan Burney


Crowd [00:00]: What do we want? Justice!

Megan Burney [00:06]: Bushwick residents and community members packed into Maria Hernandez park on wouldn’t say evening to stand in solidarity with the ongoing protest against police brutality. The vigil held in the name of black lives matter was organized by our local officials who came out with an important message to their constituents.

Assemblywoman Davila [00:29]: I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

Megan Burney [00:41]: Assemblywoman Maritza Davila set the stage.

Assemblywoman Davila [00:45]: Today. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Crowd [01:01]: [inaudible]

Assemblywoman Davila [01:01]: I just want you to, to know that we put this in a matter of hours and look at the stream of people that came to show love. Give yourself a round of applause.  We have a lot of love in this community and we have respect for each other and if anybody is going to drive, our narrative is going to be us and our community

Megan Burney [01:44]: And soon others stepped up to join her. Like Congresswomen Nydia Velazquez.

Congresswoman Velazquez [01:49]: That time is different. It’s different. We must demand justice.

Crowd [02:18]: [inaudible]

Congresswoman Velazquez [02:18]: for George Floyd, for George Floyd, Eric Gardner and the many lives that have been lost for one reason and one reason only. Because they were black. Period.

Megan Burney [02:35]: State Senator Julia Salazar.

Senator Salazar [02:37]: Bushwick is Latino. Bushwick is black. Bushwick is opera, Latino Bushwick is all of us. And we will not accept any kind of discrimination from the police or from anyone else in our community.

Megan Burney [02:58]: Councilmember Antonio Reyonos.

Councilman Reyonos [03:00]: Every single change that has happened in this country related to police or former justice reform has happened because of the type of protest that we’re having right now. [inaudible] [inaudible] well, the black community does it alone. When the Latino community doesn’t alone, when the white community does it is all lies. It happens when we all do it together.

Megan Burney [03:27]: And in the end, from Velasquez, Davila, Salazar, and Reyonos, everyone was in agreement on what exactly needs to change.

Congresswoman Velazquez [03:37]: This time when we show that we are not afraid that we will not be intimidated by tanks in Washington, or any city across the country.  This time we are going to get real. Real Reform. Police reform. We are going to repeal 50(a) in Albany because in this country. No one, no one. Even the president, no one is above the law.

Assemblywoman Davila [04:32]: And you know what? There’s going to be many laws that are going to be changed. And we’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about that. I got them right here, I’m a state representative and next week I’m going to have to go up there. We’re gonna repeal 50(a) [inaudible].

Senator Salazar [04:53]: We have an opportunity in the Senate and the assembly, and you have our support. We supported this to repeal this law. In New York We have some of the worst laws in the country when it comes to accountability and transparency, not only for officers, but for public servants, like all of us and the public, all of you, deserve better. Our black neighbors deserve better.

Councilman Reyonos [05:23]: We have to cut down, we have to defund the NYPD. [inaudible]

Councilman Reyonos [05:41]:  I can’t breathe. Thank you.

Megan Burney [05:51]: Megan Burney, Bushwick daily.

Cover photo by Megan Burney.

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