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Across Connecticut, #BLM protesters say they're in it for the long haul

Youth led a protest in Hartford, Yale PD was the focus in New Haven, and Bridgeport demonstrators are camping out in front of the police department.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Connecticut saw its third weekend of continued protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

FOX61 went to three protests taking place across the state, Saturday starting in Hartford to New Haven and then to Bridgeport with each protest sharing their own message calling for change.

Saturday afternoon in the capital area in Hartford chants heard, but this time led by the youth.

Protesters made their way from the capital to the Hartford Police Department, saying it’s time for young people to speak up.

Darren Mack said, “I have no other choice but to be involved. I mean I’m black -- these things affect me. Also these things affect everybody. I live in Hartford my entire life and I’ve seen things like this happen I think that it’s time for us to take a stand.”

People were joined by another group also calling for change, but with a twist -- urging everyone to register to vote.

Miguel Badillo said, “If we want to create that long term change, we can’t just sit back and not vote, we have to affect the person that is in that presidential chair, we have to be able to affect that person who’s governing our country, our capitals and everything like that.”

RELATED: Executive order makes all Connecticut voters eligible for absentee ballots in August primaries

In New Haven, protesters gathered outside the Yale Police Department demanding the agency to disband.

A protestor going by the name Tiggy said, “Honestly I just don’t think it’s even necessary for colleges to have the police force, I mean from all over the world, countries all over the world don’t have police forces in their colleges and those kids aren’t in any more inherit danger than us.”

The Yale Police Department says it’s still repairing community relations after the shooting of an unarmed black couple in the Greater New Haven area involving a Yale police officer back in 2019.

RELATED: Yale suspends police officer involved in April shooting

That is why Yale police chief Ronnell Higgins says people lost its faith the police were indeed here to serve.

“Many felt after that shooting that we were not doing that, we have a long way to prove that we are serving,” said Chief Higgins who says he believes if we are to move forward its best to address the past and be an example going forward.

“Many police chiefs, their successes are measured by their crime statistics, right now no one is talking about crime statistics they're talking about equity, they're talking about the procedural justice, their talking about the way police are impacting them and their community. So I believe going forward that is going to be the measure of a contemporary police leader,” said Chief Higgins.

For Bridgeport, protests are nothing new, but with the on-going Black Lives Matter movement seen across the nation, organization leaders say they were reminded why they keep fighting.

Jazmarie Melendez said, “I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through, I don’t want anyone to feel the pain of losing their brother, losing their sister, or losing someone they love at the hands of police. “

RELATED: Rt. 8 shutdown in Bridgeport by protesters

Protesters are taking a new approach by camping out until Monday at the Bridgeport police station demanding city leaders hold an open town hall so the voice of residents can be heard.

Mikalea Adams said, “We’re going to be out here as long as it takes we are not going anywhere because with the change comes in inconvenience and it’s not going to be something that’s gonna be easy for us, and you know it’s a time but as long as it takes so our children don’t have to see see the same things we faced.”

Here is a link to the demands of the protestors in New Haven: 

RELATED: Senator Blumenthal advocates for law enforcement reform bill at West Hartford protest

RELATED: Connecticut Police Transparency and Accountability Task Force discuss reforms

RELATED: In New Haven, George Floyd's name is invoked, alongside another: Mubarak Soulemane

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