PHOTOS: Hundreds turn out for Black Lives Matter vigil in Darien

About two hundred people turned out for Friday night’s Black Lives Matter vigil that was held at Tilley Pond, according to one of the organizers, Kate Dempsey.

The event’s speakers included Frederick Vital, a Darien High School teacher, as well as poetry and music.

The purpose of the vigil was to honor the lives lost to brutality from police, according to Kate. Read more about why they wanted to hold it here.

“All three of us organizers felt that after the other protests in town, a lot of people thought it was a one and done thing — that since they were over with, no one should care any longer about these issues,” said Kate before the vigil.

“We wanted to keep pushing this movement forward to have this sit on everyone’s minds,” added Kate, who attended last week’s peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in town.

The vigil was held on June 19, or Juneteenth. Juneteenth celebrates the day enslaved people were officially freed from bondage in 1865. And yet despite the significant role that day played in the lives of so many people, it has remained widely unknown and untaught.

Read about the previous protest here: PHOTOS: Young voices dominate at Darien’s Black Lives Matter march.

In addition, Darien also held a Cross Walk organized by Darien clergy that drew hundreds.

Participants were encouraged to bring signs, candles and flowers, and whatever else they would like to, to the vigil.

There was an artist on hand, painting a portrait of George Floyd, which will serve as a centerpiece at the event. Floyd was a Black man who died in custody after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, as captured on video.