WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Geneva NAACP rally draws hundreds

Jun 4, 2020


For the fourth day in a row, Genevans gathered peacefully in response to the killing of George Floyd and other black Americans at the hands of police.

Protesters fill Geneva's Bicentennial Park Wedneday.
Credit Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

Wednesday evening, the Geneva chapter of the NAACP organized a rally in Bicentennial Park on Exchange Street. The event drew hundreds hours after Minnesota prosecutors added a second degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and charged three more officers in the death of George Floyd.

"We are in this together, and we're fired up and we're ready to go," said Lucille Mallard, the President of the Geneva chapter of the NAACP. "What I heard on the TV today before I came down here, I was going to say this later, but I'll say it now. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It's not over until a conviction and somebody's in jail."

Mallard also acknowledged the young grassroots organizers who have held daily, peaceful marches throughout Geneva every day since Sunday.

"I want to give the young people, the young adults praise for what they have done. I want you to know that people in Albany have called me and told me Geneva has made them proud. So, Geneva, we're in this together. Stay safe and be blessed."

Geneva’s Police Chief Michael Passalaqua was also among the speakers Wednesday. I asked him why he believes the rallies and marches in Geneva have been free of violence that has happened elsewhere.

"Nothing to do with us. It's the people who are coming to peacefully protest. That's what we want, what we want to continue. Protesting is their right. They should be doing it, but beyond the protesting peaceful is what we want."

Following the rally downtown, marchers set off again to walk Geneva’s neighborhoods.