— Brian Thompson (@brian4NY) June 2, 2020
A protest in Toms River Tuesday against the death of George Floyd, the black man killed by a white police officer in Menneapolis, Minn., has remained peaceful and included township officers themselves.
Chief Mitch Little and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer were among those who met demonstrators in the parking lot of the Kohl’s shopping plaza off Route 37 Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., holding a banner with the department’s logo that said, “We Are With You.” Little and other officers, including some in uniform, joined the group as they walked from the shopping center to the Ocean County courthouse more than a mile away.
Though many recent protests across the country have been marred by violence and rioting, the Toms River march – the only to be held in Ocean County thus far – has remained peaceful. Many downtown businesses boarded up their windows as a precaution, but as the group reached the courthouse by 11 a.m., the protest continued to represent more in the way of togetherness rather than the chaotic scenes broadcast on national television in some major cities.
At the Ocean County courthouse, police officers “took a knee” alongside demonstrators in memory of Floyd, who died in police custody after an officer pinned him down by his neck. The officer has been charged with third degree murder.
By 11:30 a.m., Washington Street and Water Street, the two main arteries in downtown Toms River, had been reopened to traffic.
— jean mikle (@jeanmikle) June 2, 2020