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Sunnyside Memorial for George Floyd Draws Large Crowds

Memorial for George Floyd on Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside (Photo courtesy of Brent O’ Leary)

June 3, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

A memorial that has gone up in front of a Sunnyside woman’s home honoring George Floyd is gaining plenty of attention and many supporters.

The memorial – which contains a picture of Floyd and several signs – was erected Monday outside the home of local singer Cathy Maguire at the corner of Skillman Avenue and 45th Street.

Maguire, an Irish immigrant, said she put up the memorial to commemorate Floyd’s life after he was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last week.

Maguire, in a Facebook video, said she hopes the tribute would also spark discussion about race relations in America.

The memorial went up Monday when Maguire placed a framed painting of Floyd inside her front garden fence.

The words “Justice for George” were printed above the illustration and candles were placed around it.

Memorial for George Floyd on Skillman Avenue (Photo courtesy of Brent O’ Leary)

People came out in large numbers to the memorial to pay their respect for Floyd, Maguire said on Facebook. Many residents, she added, wanted to show their solidarity so she put up a large board for people to sign.

Residents wrote messages like “rest in peace George,” “black lives matter,” and “no justice, no peace, rest in power.” Others have placed candles and flowers in front of the memorial.

The board has quickly filled up and the fence is now lined with about a dozen more signs of remembrance.

On Tuesday evening a large crowd gathered in front of the memorial and Maguire sang a rendition of Amazing Grace. Many sang along.

Maguire told her Facebook followers that she was amazed by the reaction from local residents.

“The response has been unbelievable, people have been coming along with their families….. people of all ages, of all ethnicities,” she said.

“New York is a very sad place to be at the moment,” Maguire said. “A lot of people are coming to say that this is not the New York that they knew, this is not the America that they knew.”

Civic organizer Brent O’Leary, who attended the event Tuesday, told the crowd that Sunnyside is standing together against racism and the community will make sure that change happens.

“Nobody should ever be treated differently, especially by our law enforcement and our government,” he said.

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9 Comments

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Suzin

I both signed the poster and have donated to multiple criminal justice reform organizations, among other concrete steps for change. The two things are not mutually exclusive. If the memorial makes passersby stop and think, all the better. Why not be more generous?

Reply
SuZin

I love that our community is standing up for justice. Thank you for doing this, Cathy.

Reply
COCED

Two daughters for whom he tried, allegedly, be a good father and who were, actually, in Houston while he lived in Minnesota. And 3 year old granddaughter who he never saw. Drug addiction and previous conviction for armed home invasion… All these little details do not justify the way he died but something tells me that he’s not a model for the country

Reply
Anonymous

Self aggrandizing nonsense. Were they handing out petitions for criminal justice reform? Were any black people invited to sing? Im sure the intentions were fine but this community should be more aware of how self congratulatory it is.

Reply
Jeff Putterman

God Bless Cathy Maguire.

I am broken-hearted at what is happening in this country, and at the way black people and other non-whites are still demeaned and slaughtered by our system and our “fellow americans.” This history of savagery is what the US is now known for.

But I am hopeful when I see people like Cathy behaving as human as people in civilized countries. There are so many “good” people of all skin colors and ethnic origins in this country who are waking up and trying to help stop this sickness. I pray we succeed.

Don’t forget: vote early and vote often.

Reply
Resident

Nothing beats putting up a memorial for a guy who did five years in jail for his involvement in a group home invasion, during which he held a gun to a pregnant woman’s stomach (she was black, BTW).

Completely false narrative based on false crime statistics, driven by a bogus movement that is actually racially motivated.

Bravo, Sunnyside.

Reply
Dougie Sherwin

Nothing beats an anonymous blowhard spouting racist excuses for cold-blooded murder.

Resident of what? Hell in the future, where all racists burn.

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