Richmond protest of Ferguson decision continues

Matt Leonard
Online Content Editor

The Richmond community on Tuesday afternoon continued their stance of solidarity with Michael Brown, an 18-year old African American who was fatally shot by a white cop.

The gathering and the march were organized late November to align with the grand jury’s decision on indicting the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson.

Photo by Michael Pasco

Filling the steps of the John Marshall Courthouse starting at 4:30 p.m. members of the crowd held signs that read “Police Are the Enemy” and “AmeriKKKa where being black is punishable by death.”

This is after about 700 demonstrators marched from VCU to the Richmond Police Department on Monday night.

“Last night was a VCU thing. Now we’re in solidarity, with the Richmond community,” said junior political science major, Attalah Shabazz.

From the steps, the crowd chanted what has become slogan of the Ferguson protests: “Hands up. Don’t shoot.”

At the scheduled start of the protest there were close to 100 people in attendance, but numbers grew steadily throughout the night.

Speakers took to a megaphone to address the crowd. The first speaker was Victor Rodgers the president of the Urban League of Greater Richmond. He talked to the crowd about the importance of registering to vote.

“We can talk about the demographic makeup of the grand jury all we want, but if you’re not registered to vote then you can’t serve on the grand jury,” he said.

Speakers talked about unity, the need to rise up and fight oppression and the importance of letting people know what happened in Ferguson is a race issue.

“We don’t play the same game, we’re not given the same type of race,” said Ashleigh Shackelford, a business administration graduate.

Photo by Audry Dubon

From the courthouse, demonstrators decided to march, so they took to the streets with Richmond Police blocking traffic throughout the route. The column of marchers took up three lanes of traffic for about a city block.

When the march got to Governor Street, there was a four and a half minute moment of silence, the amount of time Brown lied on the ground before anyone covered his body.

The demonstrators made it back to John Marshall Courthouse just before 6 p.m. and final speeches were given.

Charles Willis, the executive director of citizens against crime, pleaded with the crowd to make relationships with community police so they can contact them if they are ever in an uncomfortable situation with other members of law enforcement.

We in Richmond are fortunate to have a Police Department that we can go to,” he told the crowd.

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