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About 200 people rally on Ohio State’s campus to protest Ferguson decision, police brutality

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Protesters take to the Oval Monday, Dec. 8 to take a stand against the Ferguson decision and police brutality.  Credit: Yann Schreiber / Lantern reporter

Protesters take to the Oval on Dec. 8 to take a stand against the Ferguson decision and police brutality.
Credit: Yann Schreiber / Lantern reporter

“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.

11 comments

  1. Just move along people. Nothing to see here.

  2. There is nothing written in the US constituion guaranteeing a “civil right” for young black males to steal, assault and disobey law enforcement. The only civil rights that were violated were those of Officer Wilson. This man’s life is now in shambles because he did his job. He can no longer work as a public servant, nor can he even show his face in public. Officer Wilson is portrayed as the bad guy, while the family of Michael Brown is shown on national TV encouraging destruction of the community with no public reprimand.
    The most disturbing and sad aspect of the whole situation is the ignorance of not just the black activists, but also the white liberals. Justice was served long before the grand jury made a decision. Michael Brown made the decision, not the grand jury. His parents should be outraged because their son was not the “gentle giant” they thought he was. Unfortunately, situations like this will surely happen again. It was a tragedy that a young man lost his life, but the real tragedy is the lack of common sense, morality and indivual accountability in the black community. The law was followed and a decision was made. Deal with it, move one and rise up against the thugs who are destroying our way of life, not those who are fighting to protect it.
    As for the protestors across the USA, where is the line drawn between making a point and causing criminal acts? Blocking highways and intersections to protest civil right violations causes gridlock, inconvenience and anger. Protesters are violating the rights of those who wish to travel freely. How is this acceptable? How does inconveniencing the general public help your cause? The level of ignorance surrounding this entire matter from day one is sickening and unbelievable. Protests such as those that we’ve seen are pointless and will only serve to work against those trying to affect change.
    Protesting will not solve the problem. We need parents to teach respect, morals and values to our children. We must teach our children to do the right thing, not to find fault with what is wrong. This is only a matter of race because black activists make it so. What if it had been a black officer and a white victim? What if it were an Asian or a Hispanic? Does it really matter? A crime was committed and a police officer who was sworn to protect and serve the community did his job. There is a system in place to ensure justice. The system worked. And now, for those who choose to use this as reason to cause violence and destruction, you too will find out how the justice system works when you are arrested and removed from society.

  3. THANK YOU Stephen A Smith (ESPNs First Take) for telling the story of how you were angry police recently stopped you BUT you didn’t resist or fight them!!! They have a VERY difficult job. My oldest daughter was stopped in my car wearing her sis buckeye student athlete hoodie. The B more police thought SHE was a MALE robbery suspect (I guess he was driving a FAMILY car with a Osu tag haha). She was mad as h@ BUT she did exactly what the officer said and CAME HOME ALIVE!! Sick and tired of all this marching for thugs!!! LeBron tell your sons don’t rob/bully innocent store clerks. Bron had a rough childhood himself is he on the street doing illegal things…is his YOUNG sons in a park waving a gun at innocent bystanders? I’ve really had enough! Go Bucks!!!

  4. “Am I next?”……….to be blindsided by some adolescent punk playing the “knock-out game”?

  5. Look, here are the facts; Caucasian police are statistically far more likely to shoot Black and Brown suspects than they are to shoot White suspects. Lately, and for the past several decades, there have been numerous instances of unwarranted police shootings, not all of whose victims have been Black, but Black folks make up the majority of the victims. The cases of Tamir Rice and Eric Garner, are pretty clear. The case of Michael Brown is a little less clear, but it took place in a community where there has been a longstanding pattern of police harassment and abuse, as well as a high degree of economic and racial disparity. We don’t know what actually happened there, as all we have are CONFLICTING eyewitness testimonies, and inconclusive forensic evidence, but we DO know that the killing of Brown was avoidable, so we should have no hesitation about assigning culpability to Wilson on that point. The National Bar Association has condemned the grand jury process and the actions of the prosecutor as deeply flawed, and has endorsed the Justice Department’s investigation. Meanwhile, Wilson walks free with over $1 Million in private contributions, the police department in Ferguson remains 94% White, and includes officers who are members of the KKK, and there have been at least two more fatal shootings of un-armed individuals by police there SINCE the killing of Michael Brown.
    Many White people have been quick to judge Michael Brown’s character, accusing him of robbing the store even though neither the store clerk or the manager have said there was a robbery at all, and claiming Brown was a lawless thug, even though there is no evidence to support that claim – AS IF ANY OF THAT WAS RELEVANT! These same White people have complained about the arson and looting in Ferguson, implying that all of the protesters were responsible, and painting them all with a dismissive brush, yet these complainers have nothing to say about the on-going conditions or the pattern of police abuse nationally. These complainers aren’t even aware of the protesters actual demands, which are perfectly rational and sensible and worthy of support.
    If you have a general distrust of law enforcement, caused, at least, by an occasional instance of police misconduct (or a consistent pattern of it in a place like Ferguson or Cleveland) then innocent folks will be less likely to call the police when they are truly needed. That, in turn, will lead to increased crime levels in the affected neighborhoods, which, in turn, will lead to more arrogant small-minded white people stereotyping the people in those communities as being morally deficient and criminally inclined. That, in turn, will lead not only to more police abuses, but also to more abusive police going unpunished, which, thereby leads to more distrust.
    White privilege, not Black rage is the real root of the problem here, and there is no reason to pay any attention to the cynical snarking of those who are steeped in the former. What is sad, though, and cause for real concern, is that there are so damned many of them commenting and getting it all so very wrong.

  6. Arafat, what did Tamir Rice, who was 12 years old and holding a BB gun, do to deserve to be murdered by police? What Did John Crawford III, who was carrying a gun to the register at a WalMart to pay for it when he was shot by police, do to deserve to be murdered? The reality is that people of all races resist arrest and get in confrontations with police, but the ones getting murdered are primarily people of color. If you don’t see that this is a problem, then you are part of the problem.

  7. “but the ones getting murdered are primarily people of color”

    Just because you say something doesn’t make it true. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ard0309st.pdf

    The FBI estimated that from 2003 to 2009, nearly 98 million arrests were made throughout the US. Based on the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 2,931 arrest-related deaths were due to homicide by an officer (note, this is homicide, NOT NECESSARILY murder–these are legal terms that have important differences).

    That is a 0.003% (that’s three THOUSANDTHS of a percent) chance that while being arrested, a person would be killed by virtue of a homicide by a police officer. Not all jurisdictions reported country-wide, but even if we QUADRUPLE the number, it only leads to 0.012% chance of being killed RELATED TO AN ARREST. This completely ignores whether or not the killing is justified, but it shows that it is not a common thing, which so many people like to claim. I agree that any preventable loss of life is tragic, but I disagree with all police officers being portrayed as violent sociopaths just going out there every night hoping to kill someone. I have known a number of police officers in my lifetime, and they are all amazing people who truly love their communities and the people they work with and for. None of them has ever shot anyone (which is true of most police officers).

    Now, of the 2,931 arrest-related homicides, 41.7% of the deceased were white, while 31.7% were black. During the same time period, black persons accounted for 27.8% of arrests… not quite the same rate as the 31.7% who died via homicide. However, it is FAR from the claim that those dying are PRIMARILY people of color.

    This does not need to be a race issue. The issue is proper training of police officers to handle ANY situation, not simply those that involve racial disparity.

    The news likes to bring up these interracial issues and whip people into a frenzy because it is good for their bottom line. There was an unarmed white male shot by a minority police officer days after Michael Brown was shot, but I cannot even recall his name because it wasn’t on every news channel 24/7 for weeks straight. Again, there are serious issues that can and should be addressed with regards to proper police training for the use of force, but this is an issue that affects all races. It is a HUMAN issue.

    If you only think it is a problem BECAUSE of the race of people involved, and not for what the true underlying issue is, then YOU are part of the problem.

  8. What a pathetic joke. Michael Brown was a criminal and a thug. But of course he isn’t responsible for his actions of strong arming a convenience store owner or attacking a police officer after walking down the middle of the street simply because he was black according to these people. Ironically the real racists are the Mike Brown supporters who declare his innocence simply because of the color of his skin. What a pathetic joke these protesters are.

  9. Hey Joe, if Mike Brown didn’t “rob” a store, would that change your viewpoint on his death? Darren Wilson knew nothing of the robbery, how can his actions be justified? Just because a person steals, lies, cheats on their wife etc., doesn’t mean they deserve to die at the hands of a cop.

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