“From Ferguson to Columbus, we demand justice!” protesters chanted on the Oval.
A group gathered at the green space at 4:30 p.m. on Monday to rally in protest of the Ferguson decision and other instances of police brutality. Organizers estimated there were about 200 people in attendance.
“I’m really glad the OSU community came out so strong today,” Timothy Singratsomboune, a fourth-year in ethnic studies, said. “We want to show the Columbus P.D., the OSU campus P.D. and the city government that the whole community takes this issue very seriously and it’s not just one or two of us.”
Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man, was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9. It was announced on Nov. 24 that Wilson will not face criminal charges.
Since the decision, protests have broken out across the country and other instances of minority death by police force have come to light.
Two examples include those of Eric Garner and Aiyana Jones. Garner died July 17 after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold when he was suspected of selling single cigarettes. Jones, who was 7, was killed after being shot during a raid from by the Detroit Police Department on May 16, 2010.
Singratsomboune encouraged all to “demand real, structural changes to the system.”
The rally included several student speakers who listed all given natural rights, names of individuals killed by police brutality and the four major demands of the movement.
“We are delivering a letter to the Columbus Police station demanding four things: an independent civilian review board, demilitarization of the police, community-based patrolling in Columbus, and supervised training of the police force,” Aziza Allen, a second-year in international relations and diplomacy, said.
Protesters took to downtown Columbus on Nov. 25 in a separate rally to deliver a letter to the Internal Affairs Bureau of Columbus Police demanding for a functional, independently acting review board to keep an eye on the activity of the Columbus Police.
Present at the rally Monday were not only those directly affected by police brutality, but students supporting the cause as allies as well.
“I believe black lives matter,” said Sophie Shiloh, a fourth-year in international relations. “Allies have been asked to do our part and support the cause, and I believe it is important that we follow the lead of the people to create change.”
The rally was followed by a march to the Hale Black Cultural Center on campus, where the students observed 4½ minutes of silence in honor of Brown. They then marched north on High Street to join other Columbus activists for a larger rally at Goodale Park.
About 700 activists were expected to attend the rally at Goodale Park, Allen said.
“We need to show how many students this effects and ultimately raise awareness about how prevalent this issue is in Columbus,” Shiloh said.