Saying he was marching for justice, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy for the first time attended a rally and a vigil over the weekend as part of the worldwide anti-police-brutality demonstrations.
The rallies come as the state is still emerging from Murphy’s March stay-home order stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.
Murphy, a Democrat, addressed the protests, which in many cases exceed the 25-person limit on gatherings, saying injustices stemming from slavery and racism warrant such rallies. He has said people should be careful and still wear a mask while protesting.
On Sunday, Murphy attended a march in Hillside, carrying a banner that said “Hillside Strong March to End Racism, Police Brutality & Embrace Diversity.”
He also attended a vigil organized by Westfield high-school junior Nala Angella Scott, who wrote to him inviting him to attend.
“I’m in awe of Nala’s courage – the same courage we’re seeing from young people across our nation,” he said in a tweet. “But I’m angry and devastated that we live in a nation where they have to protest for their right to live. We cannot accept this as normal. We must do better.”
I’m in awe of Nala’s courage – the same courage we’re seeing from young people across our nation.
But I’m angry and devastated that we live in a nation where they have to protest for their right to live.
We cannot accept this as normal. We must do better. pic.twitter.com/e6EZ1dAiCm
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) June 7, 2020
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Sunday attended a Black Lives Matter march in Glen Rock.
The rallies that have been happening, first in the United States and recently in cities across the globe, followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.