Roxbury Protest Against Racial Profiling and Militarization of Police After Mike Brown’s Death
BOSTON/Roxbury – Following the shooting death of unarmed African-American teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson County, Missouri protestors took the streets of Boston on Saturday.
Brown was shot and killed by police on Saturday last week in an incident that has triggered a wave of protests across the country, and which saw about 200 demonstrators march from Copley Square to the Boston Police Department (BPD) headquarters in Roxbury in protest.
Leondra Hawkesworth, speaking at the rally, said “I want to tell you as a black mom what this is doing to me: I’m so angry, I’m so tired of all the brutality that goes on against brown and black boys. “My grandchild has a target on his back,” she continued, “if you tell your son to say anything to a cop, he’s going to either get shot, arrested, beat up, who knows,” adding that she wants this state of affairs to stop.
Demonstrators called for an end to racial profiling in the BPD, and for a reversal of trends toward militarizing police forces across the country.
Open Media Boston contacted both the City of Boston and the BPD for a press statement, but did not receive a response before the filing of this report.
Karla Sheffield, holding a picture in front of her, said “this is my son Burrell Ramsey-White: on August 21st, 2012 he was shot and killed by Boston police in what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop.”
She said, “it took 16 months just to get the officer’s name, [and] the officer has been cleared by the Boston police [of any wrongdoing] … right now I am fighting for justice for my son, it’s hurting me because every time I turn around there’s another black child, another young brother, somebody’s son has been taken down by the people who are supposed to protect and serve us.”
Also speaking at the rally, Denise Smith said, “No matter what color you are, you have value, nobody’s worth more than anybody … where the hell is our justice?”
Another speaker who did not provide his name said, “I’m a man of color … I’ve experienced being profiled, I’ve experienced being targeted, this is wonderful what we’re doing to support Ferguson County, but we’ve got issues right here at home,” referring to violence internal to African-American communities in the Boston area.