Black Lives Matter demonstration set for June 15 in Secaucus

Mayor Gonnelli said that SPD's use-of-force policy is more restrictive than the minimum requirements

Protests against police brutality have reached Secaucus.

Demonstrations have been erupting across the country in response to police brutality against African Americans, specifically the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Floyd was an unarmed African-American man who was killed when police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.

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Floyd was later pronounced dead. Chauvin has since been fired and charged with murder and manslaughter. In response to mass demonstrations, Chauvin’s charges were upgraded, and the other police officers during the call have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the commission of a felony.

While protests have occurred in Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, and North Hudson municipalities, Secaucus has yet to have its own protest against police brutality. That will change on June 15, when a Black Lives Matter demonstration will take place in town.

Dubbed the “Black Lives Matter Walk” on social media, the flyer for the event invites residents to march on Monday, June 15.

The demonstration will begin at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Secaucus library. From there, protesters will march to Buchmuller Park.

Residents are encouraged to wear masks, as the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. Those who attend are also encouraged to make signs.

Gonnelli responds to Floyd’s murder

“Like all of you, I was deeply disturbed by the murder of George Floyd,” Gonnelli said on June 5. “This incident shook me to my core.”

Gonnelli said he spent this week in meetings with Chief of Police Dennis Miller. According to Gonnelli, throughout these meetings he and Chief Miller reviewed the Secaucus Police Department’s Use of Force Policy.

“I am happy to report the Secaucus Police Department’s Use of Force Policy exceeds and is more restrictive than the minimum requirements set forth by the New Jersey Attorney General,” Gonnelli said.

Gonnelli said he is constantly driving around town visiting residents and businesses in the community. He believes that the Secaucus community cares for each other regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.

“Each day I see neighbors helping neighbors, happy children playing together while loving parents, grandparents, and caretakers look on and a caring business community lending support to those in need,” Gonnelli said. “I see a police department, that is well trained, respectful, caring, and responsive to the needs of the community. To sum it up, I see love.”

Gonnelli thinks if the people across the country would respect and love one another, as the people in Secaucus do, “times would be much calmer.”

“I am acutely aware of the pain many are experiencing,” Gonnelli said. “In extraordinary times like these you all give me hope that the nation will pull together and that we can all see each other for what we are, without judgement.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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