National protests continue as city leaders hold vigil
By JOSH RESNEK
The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer, whose partners did nothing to stop the officer now charged with his death, has set off a firestorm of riots, peaceful protests and looting across the nation’s great cities.
It has caused a lot of thinking to be done out loud by a variety of people in Everett.
Everett is a minority majority city. Thousands of residents have been transfixed by the chaos as broadcast on television with many residents said to be seen crying and wondering if anyone is going to do anything or in fact, what can be done or should be done.
Black and brown residents have been especially moved by Floyd’s murder and the ensuing protests.
Everett Police have been instructed by their watch commanders and the chief to exercise caution with those they come in contact with to prevent a Floyd type incident here.
Tuesday evening, an Internet vigil was held by the mayor and Councilor Gerly Adrien. Also participating were Bishop Robert Brown of the Zion Church, Police Chief Steven Mazzie, Dr. Omar Easy and Myrlanndie DesRosiers.
In addition, the event had the endorsement of the city council and the school committee with nearly all the members attending online.
The mayor has called the death of Floyd as ugly and cowardly.
Several thousand Everett residents watched the vigil on Facebook.
The Leader Herald Facebook site has been visited by several thousand Everett residents and lively discussions have been taking place among them about Floyd’s murder.
City leaders have all expressed concern about events taking place, especially after the president ordered protesters dispersed in front of the White House late Monday afternoon by a phalanx of police and military and police on horseback.
With a thorough dousing of the protesters with tear gas and many rounds of rubber bullets, the crowd was dispersed by the heavily armed police in a matter of ten minutes from Lafayette Park across from the White House.
The president, moments later, walked from the White House to Lafayette Park, to the church that had been looted and burned the night before.
He held up a bible while he stood in front of the church in a photo op.
This is one of those rare instances where the outside world has come inside to this city of immigrants and hardworking middle-class residents.
Events since Floyd was murdered have pushed the Coronavirus off the center stage for the moment, although many epidemiologists believe the large protest gatherings are inevitably going to lead to a huge spike in the virus.
This remains to be proven.
On the virus front here, cases have risen to 1,640 and deaths remain in the region of 30 as the city continues under state mandated restrictions with the business community still largely closed or running at less than half speed in most cases.
Local unemployment statistics are unavailable but are estimated at more than 3000- 5000 and rising.
Layoffs have begun at the Encore casino and hotel.
Layoffs are expected to be announced by the Everett School System in the days to come.
The city administration is expected to do the same.