"One of the best decisions I had ever made"
- Joseph Lugo
Thousands of people across America took to the streets on Saturday, December 13 in New York, Washington D.C., Boston, San Francisco and several other cities to protest recent grand jury decisions regarding the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers.
Tensions over racial injustice and police brutality were the impetus for the rash of demonstrations across the country. The issues had come to a boil after the grand jury decisions in Missouri, regarding the death of Michael Brown, and New York, regarding the death of Eric Garner. In both cases, the grand juries chose not to indict the white officers responsible for the deaths of the two unarmed black men.
The anger and frustration many people feel over the deaths of Brown, Garner and others linked to the excessive use of force by police is understandable.
Approximately 30,000 people gathered in the streets of Manhattan amid a heavy police presence. Protesters carried signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Not one more.” The protest, which started in Washington Square Park before heading uptown, was largely peaceful, reported the New York Post (12.13.14).
In Washington D.C., protesters joined a march which proceeded down Pennsylvania Ave. to the Capitol and then attended the “Justice for All” rally. Among them were around 300 protesters who came by bus from New York. The demonstration near the Capitol was led by the Reverend Al Sharpton. The family of Eric Garner was on the stage at the event. The demonstrations were called a “day of resistance”, against what protesters believe is ongoing and unchecked mistreatment of black people by white police officers.
ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism, recently reported that young black males, age 15 to 19, are 21 times more likely than white males in the same age range to be killed by police, based on an analysis of 1,217 deadly U.S. police shootings from 2010 to 2012. Blacks were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while 1.47 per million white males died at the hands of police.
Victims of police brutality, excessive force, systematic injustice or other civil rights violations should contact an experienced lawyer. These individuals may have a legal case and be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries.