In the wake of the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, hundreds gathered in Baltimore to demand justice for victims of police brutality
DHARNA NOOR: For the Real News, I’m Dharna Noor in Baltimore. At least one shooter operating from a rooftop in Dallas killed 5 police officers and wounded 6 more in an attack in one of the multitudes of peaceful protests across the country against the killing of two black men by police this week. Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philandro Castillo in Minnesota. LOVELY: Well everyone is gathered here today in reaction to what’s been going on in the country the last couple of days, in reference to police brutality and the way that they are targeting African American men. I’m here specifically because I have a husband and a son and so of course there is a concern for me every day. When my husband leaves out to go to work, my son leaves out to go to school, I’m afraid because I don’t know if they’re going to come back home. They could simply be leaving out of the house to do that with nothing and not come back home to me at night. So it’s my job as the mom and the wife in the family to stand for what’s right. To stand for what’s going to keep them safe. To stand for what’s going to be bring them home. To stand for justice. And that’s why I’m here today. NOOR: Okay. So can you tell me why you’re here today? KIERA: I’m here cause like this is bullshit, dog. Four people in 72 hours? Type of shit is this? And then they whole lynch somebody in Atlanta and try to say he killed himself. Who the fuck kills themselves in a public park? Like what type of–don’t ever–it’s like people don’t even care about their lives any more. They stopped caring about their lives and that’s what’s really getting to bother me. TALAYAH JOHNSON: This is my first protest and I usually will talk about it on social media via Twitter, Facebook. But at this point I was kind of fed up and I felt like I needed to be doing something personally because it was eating at me. And I felt that if I wasn’t doing something then I was holding back. So I came here today to support and advocate what I believe in. NOOR: And for you personally, what are some of the demands that you’d like to see either from government, from polices forces across the nation. What would you like to see change? JOHNSON: I want to see–to begin with, convictions and justice for these people who are dying. For example, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, just everybody. Any person who has died from police brutality and hasn’t got their justice. I want to see something being done. [SPEAKER]: What is happening in Baltimore and this country in terms of gentrification, cannot be allowed to stand. Well, we got to make it happen. The police union says that they don’t want civilians on the board. TAWANDA JONES: My family. My brother’s body was hid for 5 days. The funeral home was allowed to go and pick my brother up. No family should have to un-[inaud.] their loved ones. [inaud.] answers. That’s the [inaud.] somebody innocent or guilty and somebody guilty or innocent. [inaud.]. DOUGLAS JONES: We’re all here to do–I think we’re all here to do the same thing. Police brutality has gone way too far, especially against black lives. All kinds of different black lives, black men, black women, queer black people, trans black people, disabled black people, and its time that we’ve done something about it. We’ve all been posting which is great. We’ve all been finding different outlets to express our anger, express all of our frustration but I think now we really need to start taking a lot more action. NOOR: So in the past couple of days we’ve seen a number of police shootings. But then yesterday in Dallas there was this killing of 5 police officers and there are some people who are looking at that and blaming the movement for black lives for those deaths. Could you speak just a little bit about what your response is for that. JONES: I’d just like to say that they don’t blame all policemen for the shootings of black people, they blame the black person themselves. They blame the victim. The one that comes to the shooting of these people they’re trying to blame our whole entire movement and that’s not what it’s about. And I can almost guarantee that the person that was responsible for these shootings is not in alignment with our movement and what we’re trying to do here because–and we’re with those people too. We’re with those police officers in Dallas. We want to find justice for those people too. We want to find an ending to all of these killings. We want to find an ending to all of this madness that’s going on with guns and with violence and all that kind of stuff. So we’re with those people. We’re with the man in Florida who was shot–he’s 19-year-old white man who was shot as well by police, he was unarmed. We’re with every black life that has been killed through police brutality as well. NOOR: For the Real News, I’m Dharna Noor in Baltimore.
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