A wave of demonstrations across the country, including in Worcester, come as a result of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Worcester State University assistant professor Nathan Angelo says these protests are the biggest he’s ever seen.

Angelo says, "It's exposing the fact that there are a lot of people in this country that are very upset with the way individual police officers have acted

Angelo says the momentum is high because of many factors. He says the incident surrounding Floyd’s death is shocking with clear wrongdoing. And the pandemic is pushing people to take a greater stand against police brutality on people of color. 

"Now folks have time and they have pent up frustration and a spark that has allowed this to begin."

Worcester city councilor Sarai Rivera says this is part of an overarching racial oppression and if all communities don’t address it, they will never heal. 

Rivera says, "When we continue to justify what's wrong, we're going to continue to repeat it over and over again and it's getting to the point where we are tired."​

The relationship between protesters and officers has been different in some places. Officers in Worcester joined protesters, others met them with force. Angelo expects there will be police reform as a result of protester demands.

Angelo says, "It might be a moving back to a more community-based model where police officers are much more involved with the community and try to become more ingratiated with individuals within the community."