Members of the Butterfly Effect Project held a vigil outside Riverhead Police Headquarters Saturday. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The Butterfly Effect Project held a vigil Saturday morning outside Riverhead Police Department headquarters to remember George Floyd and protest police violence against African-Americans across the United States.

More than two dozen children, family members and BEP volunteers participated, along with Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, Police Chief David Hegermiller and several Riverhead police officers. They formed a large circle in the parking lot outside PD headquarters and held a silent vigil for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

The supervisor assured those gathered that town government and the police department stands with them. The police chief asked the group to bring to him ideas anyone has on how to build trust with the police department in their community. He also urged the children to think about becoming police officers when they grow up.

“We want to move forward to a place where we can all heal, and move forward, unified,” Butterfly Effect Project executive director Tijuana Fulford told the group.

In an interview afterward, Fulford said the group held the vigil to teach the children lessons about effecting social change in an environment that would be safe for the children.

“I wanted to show them there’s a way to protest,” Fulford said.

The children met with the chief to set it up. “It was a joint effort,” Fulford said.

“I wanted them to know they have a voice.”

Members of the Butterfly Effect Project pose for a group photo Saturday outside police headquarters with Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller, police officers and Supervisor Yvette Aguiar. Photo: Denise Civiletti

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.