Roughly 30 people took part in a peaceful protest at the Winooski roundabout Friday evening, speaking against lives lost to police violence nationwide.

The protest stemmed from the officer-involved shooting death of 29-year-old Jesse Beshaw, who was unarmed, last Friday in Winooski.  Vermont State Police says he was unarmed.

“Jesse was a good friend, a good father, and a good dude,” says Jesse’s friend of 14 years, Chris Sordiff.  “He didn’t deserve to go out like that at all.”

Vermont State Police say Beshaw had an active arrest warrant for burglary and was known to carry a gun.  VSP says Beshaw advanced toward Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicolas Palmier, with his right hand behind his back.  VSP says Palmier fired multiple times, as Beshaw continued coming toward him.

“Seven shots, your intention is to take that person’s life, and he didn’t have a weapon,” says Sordiff.

At Friday’s protest, family, friends, and complete strangers came together, protesting police brutality across the country.

“The family members that contacted me to organize this did not ask for this to be about Jesse per say, but about the greater issue of police violence and to peacefully shine a light on how troubling this situation is,” says Peace & Justice Executive Director Rachel Siegel.  

Local 22 and Local 44 News spoke with Beshaw’s aunt who contacted Siegel to organize the vigil.  We also spoke with Jesse’s fiance.  Both attended the protest, but did not wish to be interviewed.

“Some people want to be out in the public and be loud and that helps them with healing,” says Siegel.  “Other people need to retreat for healing so, I’m just trying to honor what’s best for them.”

Sordiff says His friend, Jesse, is one of too many people killed at the hands of law enforcement.

“It’s all over the place and I don’t know why,” says Sordiff.  “I don’t understand it and I don’t think I’ll ever understand it but, it needs to stop.”

Local 22 and Local 44 News has contacted the Winooski Police Department, requesting body camera video from the night of the shooting.  Police have denied that request so far, on grounds that the investigation is ongoing.