Jumaane Williams was made for this moment

Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate, could feel the pain in his aging, 44-year-old knee on the hard concrete of Times Square. But the moment called for kneeling, so Williams lived with the physical discomfort for eight minutes and 46 seconds – the amount of time that Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was originally thought to have knelt on George Floyd’s neck before he died on Memorial Day.

This was June 2, eight days after Floyd’s death, and the self-described activist/elected official had organized a protest/press conference in an empty Times Square. Civil rights activists and more than a dozen elected officials joined Williams to assert New Yorkers’ right to protest police brutality, taking a knee just after 8 p.m. in symbolic defiance of the mayor and governor’s overnight curfew, enacted just the day before.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has stepped up in a big way during New York City’s Black Lives Matter protests. Jumaane Williams, the New York City public advocate, could feel the pain in his aging, 44-year-old knee on the hard concrete of Times Square. But the moment […]

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