About 200 people gathered peacefully on the steps of the State Capitol Sunday to protest against the police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City, as well as to draw attention to two Louisiana victims.
Baton Rouge Organizing, a group that formed out of the frustrations being voiced about the lack of indictments in the Ferguson case, organized Sunday’s rally using social media, said Zandashe Brown, an LSU student. “We want to let people in the Baton Rouge community know that there is an organization that wants to do something about it,” she said.
Cameron Tillman, of Houma, a 14-year-old black male, was killed by police in September, and Victor White III, of New Iberia, a 22-year-old black male, was shot and died while in police custody in March. Brown said the group wants to remind people of those incidents closer to home.
Other groups participated in the event. The names of about 60 people who had been killed by police around the nation were read out. Speeches were made.
Rain Araneda, a teacher, asked people to wear a black armband, wristband or ribbon this week to draw attention to the situation. Police are not following their own procedures, she said, adding, “and no one has been held accountable.”
Similar protests have been staged nationwide since a New York grand jury last week chose not to indict New York Police Department Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who killed Eric Garner after placing him a chokehold. That decision came on the heels of a Missouri grand injury refusing to indict Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown.
In Berkeley, California, protests Saturday night turned violent and left four police officers injured, vehicles damaged and stores looted.