HEMPSTEAD VILLAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Protesters in the suburbs are demanding justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Demonstrators in Hempstead Village on Wednesday told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan their protests are necessary to fight systemic racism.
“From nooses to knees, like fruits hanging on trees, enough is enough,” poet Electra Nicholson read.
As strife flares, religious leaders preached unity.
“Include the next generation at that table, include people from all races at that table, then I think we can come up with a vaccine for the virus of racism,” said Bishop Phillip Elliott of Antioch Baptist Church.
“There is only one race: the human race,” said Rabbi Art Vernon of Congregation Shaaray Shalom.
Disparate groups rallied together.
Police on horseback patrolled parts of the Five Towns as a precaution taken over unfounded social media threats.
Malls and stores were boarded up, also as a precaution.
Some fearing potential violence lined up at gun stores. Among them was a mother from Great Neck.
“Before anybody wants to go looting people’s home or businesses, think twice,” she said.
Police forces in Hempstead and beyond say they are trained in deescalating tense situations.
“There was successful mediation by police and cooler heads prevailed. There were no issues reported, no arrests, no property damage,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Across communities, a message sounds: listen without defensiveness.