The decision of no indictment in the case of the police officer that chokes a man to death on video on the heels of the Ferguson decision led to an international response that shows no signs of dissipating.
Cities such as Washington, DC, New York City, even Tokyo and have been alight with protests in the form of die-ins and marches since the announcement of no indictment for both the Mike Brown case in Ferguson and the police chokehold death of Eric Garner.
Die-ins, which are mass demonstrations in the form of protesters laying on the ground with signs and banners, have been going on in nationwide, demanding local and global attention. People from across the country are using Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe”, as a rallying cry to protest against police brutality in America.
The shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a police officer last month is yet another case of contention around the country. The boy was carrying a toy airsoft gun when officer Timothy Loehmann shot him within two seconds of arriving on the scene. As all these cases come to public attention, reactions and responses are garnered all around the world.
Public figures, especially professional athletes have been demonstrating their own stance on the issue at hand. Protesters are calling for the government and law enforcement to be examined for cases of racially charged killings and condemns the current non-action on the part of the judicial system.
Even former president George W Bush has joined the conversation when being interviewed by CNN. “You know, the verdict was hard to understand… But it’s sad that race continues to play such an emotional, divisive part of life,” he said.
Protests in places like Chicago, Boston, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New Orleans have resulted in some being arrested for disturbing the peace and civil disobedience after blocking road traffic. Despite that, more and more people pour into the streets week after week in solidarity, making their opinions known on the justice system in America.
Today, December 8, there was another die-in scheduled to take place right on the Capitol Hill steps. When stopped by police officers, it is reported that the protesters stood their ground and claimed it was their right. “We want the international community to hold the United States accountable for invoking genocide and human rights violations in this country against people of color,” said one protester. “I am walking to bring attention to the human rights violations of the United States.”
According to International Business Times, more protests are planned for this week, including a march in Washington, D.C. Saturday to pressure Congress to hold hearings and pass laws to reform the state grand juries that choose whether or not to indict police officers who kill civilians.
Monday, Dec. 8
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marquette Alumni Solidarity Die-in at 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave., 10:30 am.
Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton Theological Seminary at 64 Mercer St., 12:30 pm.
Poughkeepsie, New York: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, at the federal courthouse, 347 Main St., noon-2 pm.
Gainsville, Florida: MLK Memorial Garden at 200 E. University Ave., 4:15 pm.
Xenia, Ohio (near Dayton): Greene County Courthouse, 45 North Detroit St., 4:30 to 6 pm.
Tuesday, Dec. 9
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Blackout vigil at Temple University’s belltower, 6 pm.
Wednesday, Dec. 10:
Chicago, Illinois: Candlelight Vigil at Chicago Theological Seminary, 1407 E. 60th St., 5 pm.
Saturday, Dec. 13:
Washington, D.C.: Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvanian and 13th Streets Northwest, 10:30 am.
Expectations and Policy
A simple “sorry” isn’t going to fix anything or make protester any less outraged. A video of Eric Garner’s wife, Esaw Garner, refusing to accept the apology of the officer that choked her husband captures that raw, indignant tone that many in the country are feeling now.
“Hell no. The time for remorse was when my husband was yelling to breathe. No, I don’t accept his apology. No, I could care less about his condolences. He’s still working. He’s still getting a paycheck. He’s still feeding his kids, when my husband is six feet under and I’m looking for a way to feed my kids now.”
The introduction of police body cameras is a step in the right direction, but the idea that the only way to police would change their conduct is if they have a camcorder strapped to their bodies says a lot about the poor justice system in America. The people don’t trust those assigned to serve and protect, and with the recent developments, their concerns are more than valid.
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Feature Image: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images