D.C. vigil protests police brutality and racism

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Photos by Lloyd Wolf

“I can’t breathe,” the pleading words of George Floyd as he was murdered were repeated and reenacted at a Juneteenth vigil in front of the Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center on June 19. It was one in a series of vigils the faith community of 16th Street has been holding every Friday in the month of June.

Area churches rang their bells beginning at 5:45 p.m. for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time it took for a police officer to asphyxiate Floyd.

Rather than ring bells, participants at the Edlavitch JCC blew shofarot. “It has been quite a visceral experience, attempting to use my breath, and pushing myself to try to blow the shofar for this amount of time,” said Amanda Herring, the center’s manager of Jewish Life and Learning. “When you’re out of breath, it is quite obvious how very long 8 minutes and 46 seconds is in a human life.”

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