WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Saturday, Aug. 28, some 40 residents of West Orange lined Northfield Avenue with “Black Lives Matter” signs. The peaceful event was organized by the West Orange African Heritage Organization.
It has been more than a year since police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, sparking outrage, protests, marches and calls for justice.
In the 16 months since the murder, states, including California and Minnesota, and cities, such as Philadelphia, Pa., and Seattle, Wash., have enacted bans on chokeholds, tear gas and rubber bullets, and implemented other reforms.
But there remains work to be done; the George Floyd Act remains stalled in Congress. The act would prohibit federal, state and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling; mandate training on racial, religious and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement; and require law enforcement to collect data on all investigatory activities.
West Orange Police Chief James Abbot supported WOAHO’s Aug. 28 demonstration, sending both bottled water and police cruisers to protect demonstrators from outside agitation. Councilman Bill Rutherford and his family participated, as did Board of Education President Terry Trigg-Scales. In an earlier demonstration, Councilwoman Tammy Williams participated.