This post was written by Hatchet reporter Clara Lishan Ong.
Hundreds of protesters chanted about police brutality and the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray as they gathered in Chinatown Wednesday night and marched to the White House for the second day in a row.
The group also marched to the John A. Wilson Building, which houses the mayor’s office and the D.C. Council, on their way to the White House.
The crowd chanted phrases like like, “Hey hey, ho ho, these racist cops will have to go.”
Police stood aside and did not intervene.
1. It’s not just a Baltimore problem
Salim Adofo, the national vice chairperson of the advocacy group National Black United Front, said there have been several recent cases of police brutality that they make up a larger trend of racism.
“War has been waged against the black communities across America,” Adofo told the protesters.
The group was made up of activists and D.C. residents who carried signs throughout the evening.
Manda Moore, a blogger who has been writing about the protests in Baltimore, held up a cardboard sign with profiles of six black males and females who she said have been unjustly harmed by the police.
Bridzette Lane, the mother of Rafael Briscoe, who was shot and killed by Metropolitan Police Department officers in April 2011, told the protesters that she was still fighting for justice for her son. A jury cleared MPD of that incident in February.
2. Past incidents add frustration
Einass Abdelmoula, a protestor and litigation clerk, said past incidents of police brutality against the black community should be a concern for the whole country.
“I do fear to have sons,” she said. “I’m approaching, hopefully, motherhood and I don’t want to have to raise children in this type of atmosphere. I’m here for solidarity and for my future.”
3. The role of the black community
Kristina Jacobs, the secretary of the National Black United Front, said she fears police brutality will become a larger trend.
“Just because it happens in Baltimore doesn’t mean it won’t happen here,” Jacobs said to the crowd. “It’s just a matter of time.”
She mentioned four key ways that the black community can fight for their rights – observe, educate, organize and create.
“When you see a brother or sister who has been put on the curb that has five officers around them, stand there and let your brother or sister know that you’re watching,” Jacobs said.
She added that the black community also needs to know the names of people who have been abused by the system, and educate others about the problem. The community should also link up with volunteer organizations to “support the people who are working to stop this brutality,” she said.