Thousands protest in Washington against racist violence by police
Thousands of people marched Saturday down the streets of Washington to protest against racist violence by police, following several cases of white cops killing unarmed black males in the US.
Shouting “justice for all”, the demonstrators gathered to the protest march in Freedom Plaza near the White House called by the National Action Network, an association founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and politician.
In a festive atmosphere, young and old, black and white marched to the Capitol bearing banners with phrases “Black lives matter” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Participants in the protest recalled the case of Eric Garner, who was strangled in July in New York by white policeman Daniel Pantaleo, whom a grand jury decided not to indict.
Another grand jury decided last month not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson for the death of the black youth Michael Brown, 18, who had stolen some cigarillos from a supermarket in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, in circumstances still not clearly explained to the public.
Protesters also recalled the case of little Tamir E. Rice, 12, who was gunned down last November in Cleveland, Ohio, by a cop who mistook the kid’s toy pistol for a real gun.
Family members of these three victims came to the march Saturday in Washington and expressed their condemnation of police violence.
“This is a historic moment,” said Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, who was wearing a sweatshirt with the phrase “I can’t breathe”, as her son said before he died.
Protests like the one in Washington were repeated Saturday in other cities of the country, including New York, Boston and San Francisco.